PETERSBURG, Va., - The Shaw University women's volleyball earned a 3-0 victory over Virginia State University in the 2017 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) semifinal round Saturday night at the VSU Multipurpose Center. The Lady Bears, making their third consecutive appearance in the CIAA tournament and championship, will play in the finals Sunday, Nov. 19 against division foe Winston-Salem State University, which defeated Chowan, 3-0 earlier in the day.
Sunday's match will be a rematch of the 2015 championship that featured both the Lady Bears and the Rams, with Shaw falling short 3-1 back on Nov. 22. The Lady Bears won the CIAA championship last season, sweeping Fayetteville State, 3-0.
All-CIAA and junior Keveesha Wattley (St. Croix, VI) paced the Lady Bears with a team-best nine kills while All-CIAA and sophomore Tapanga Moten (New Orleans, LA) added eight attacks. All-CIAA junior Saraya Klink (Fuquay-Varina, NC), junior and also All-CIAA Kelly Murphy (Mukwonago, WI) and junior Jazmine Johnson-McCoy (Seattle, WA) all chipped in six kills apiece.
The offense was orchestrated by All-CIAA junior Michelle Olmeda-Gonzalez (San Juan, PR) with 21 assists, following sophomore Alexandra Masnica's 10 dimes.
Murphy finished the match with 12 digs while All-CIAA senior Tiffany Brooks (Efland, NC) grabbed 11 stops.
Shaw (27-4) started the first set with a 7-2 lead over the Trojans (11-15). The Lady Bears held on to their lead despite VSU's effort to pull within two on numerous occasions. With the set showing a 23-21 advantage in favor of Shaw, the Trojans got two-straight on an attack error by Shaw, followed by a kill from Jailyn Ivey but the Lady Bears stole the set with a service error on VSU and a kill from Moten for the 25-22 win.
The second set was the opposite of the first as the Lady Bears trailed 7-2 after being responsible for four attack errors. However, Shaw then went on to score five-straight to tie the contest at seven. The Lady Bears took the lead for good in the second frame when Johnson-McCoy got a kill from Murphy for the 12-11 lead. Shaw arranged a 16-9 scoring margin for the 25-20 set win and 2-0 lead.
Shaw controlled the third set the entire way, starting out the stanza with a 10-4 lead over the Trojans. The Lady Bears led by as many as eight points (24-16) before Wattley mustered home a kill from Murphy for the set point and 3-0 sweep.
Sunday's match will provide live coverage on www.shawbears.com. Fans can also follow live tweets on Twitter @ShawBears.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's volleyball and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.