RALEIGH, N.C. – The Shaw University women's volleyball team outlasted the visiting Winston-Salem State University Rams inside an eruptive home crowd of C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium, 3-2, winnings its 13th-straight match and ninth Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) regular season contest.
The victory improves Shaw to 17-2 overall, 9-0 in the CIAA and 3-0 in the Southern Division while WSSU's unbeaten streak in the league ends at eight as they now stand 11-4 overall, 8-1 in the conference and 2-1 in the South.
Statistically, the contest was pretty evenly matched but Shaw held a 10-5 advantage in service aces as the Rams accounted for 13 serving errors compared to the Lady Bears eight which ultimately was the deciding factor of the match. Shaw finished the contest with a hitting percentage of .173 while WSSU hit .129.
The Lady Bears had three players chart double figures in kills led by junior Saraya Klink (Fuquay-Varina, NC) who had 12 attacks, four digs and three blocks. Junior's Keveesha Wattley (St. Croix, VI) and Jazmine Johnson-McCoy (Seattle, WA) pulled in 11 kills apiece. Junior Michelle Olmeda-Gonzalez (San Juan, PR) and sophomore Alexandra Masnica (Chicago, IL) shared the setter duties with 27 and 21 assists, respectively.
Defensively, Shaw also had three players record double figures in digs including senior Tiffany Brooks (Efland, NC) who finished with 17 stops while junior Kelly Murphy (Mukwonago, WI) and Olemda-Gonzalez contributed 12 and 11 digs, respectively.
After taking the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-17, the Lady Bears appeared to be well on their way to a 3-0 sweep but the Rams had other plans. WSSU took an 8-4 lead in the third thanks to four miscues by Shaw. The Rams would then score five-straight to add to their lead but the Lady Bears managed to put together a 9-4 run to tie the set at 21-even. WSSU clinched the third set after a service ace and a kill by Jasmine Smith for the 25-23 edge.
A chippy fourth set led to 11 ties with the last being knotted up at 25-25 as both teams really battled it out. WSSU would score the last two after a kill from Brittany Carpenter and an attack error from Klink that prevailed them to a 27-25 win over Shaw, forcing the game to the fifth and final set.
The Lady Bears owned a 7-2 lead over the Rams before the Rams groomed three-straight to cut the deficit 8-5 in the fifth. Down the stretch, Shaw went on a 6-2 run to take the 15-9 win and 3-2 match victory over the Rams.
WSSU was led by Mia Herrod with 15 kills, followed by Jasmine Smith with 11.
Shaw will hit the road for another battle test and CIAA division match at Fayetteville State University on Monday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's volleyball and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.