CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Shaw University women's volleyball had its 15-match winning streak snapped, falling in five sets at Johnson C. Smith University in a battle of Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division action from BrayBoy Gymnasium Tuesday night. The Lady Bears won the first set, 26-24 but the Golden Bulls took the next two sets 25-21 and 27-25 before Shaw claimed a 25-15 fourth set. Ultimately, JCSU would edge the Lady Bears 16-14 in the final set.
The setback gives Shaw its first loss in CIAA action this season. The Lady Bears (17-7 overall, 13-1 CIAA) dip to 7-1 in the South while JCSU (16-7, 13-3 CIAA) improves to 8-2 within the division. Despite the loss, Shaw still remains atop in the division and the Golden Bulls are currently sitting in third place.
Three players charted double figures in kills for the Lady Bears, including senior Keveesha Wattley (St. Croix, US Virgin Islands) and junior Tapanga Moten (New Orleans, LA) who both turned in a 15-kill performance while junior Jailynn Butler (Parker, AZ) contributed 10 attacks and eight digs. Senior Michelle Olmeda-Gonzalez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) amassed 48 assists and five digs while senior Kelly Murphy (Mukwonago, WI) collected 21 digs and four assists.
Shaw won the first set despite trailing most of the way until four-straight points, including three kills from Wattley provided a one-point advantage for Shaw. A bad set from JCSU lifted the Lady Bears to the 26-24 set win.
The Lady Bears owned a 6-3 lead capped off by a kill from Wattley but JCSU stormed back to the tie and also take a slight lead after Gorana Bogdanovic's kill. Four more ties down the stretch led to a service error from Shaw that gave JCSU a one-point lead (21-20). The Golden Bulls would use a 4-1 scoring margin to tie the match at 1-1 heading into the third set.
In a back-and-forth third stanza, JCSU groomed a 13-9 lead ignited by a kill from Monika Krupa. Shaw cut the deficit and eventually tied the frame at 24-24 thanks to an assassin from Moten and on the next possession, Butler's service ace created a 25-24 lead for the Lady Bears. However, JCSU scored three-straight points including two Shaw errors that delivered a 2-1 lead for the Golden Bulls.
With their back against the wall, the Lady Bears opened up the fourth set with a 9-2 lead that featured three kills from junior Karla Sosa (Brownsville, TX) and two from Butler. Shaw then ballooned its largest lead of the match with a 21-9 frame after an attack from junior Amari Fletcher (Phoenix, AZ) in route to taking advantage of JCSU's three-consecutive miscues for the 25-15 set win.
In the final set, Butler's put away gave Shaw a 8-7 lead but after being tied 11-11, the Lady Bears took a three-point stand (14-11) and it appeared as if they were on their way to the thrilling victory but a service error by Shaw led to JCSU scoring four unanswered points that included three miscues by the Lady Bears which presented Shaw with the 3-2 setback.
Shaw will return to action on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Claflin University for another division match. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. in Orangeburg, S.C.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's volleyball and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit shawbears.com.