SALEM, Va. – After a hard fought three-set victory, the Shaw University women's volleyball team will make its fourth-straight appearance in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Championship title match. The Lady Bears earned a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23 and 25-22) victory over Winston-Salem State University Friday night and will meet Virginia State University Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center for the conference title.
The Lady Bears (22-8) were led by senior rightside hitter Keveesha Wattley (St. Croix, US Virgin Island) who registered a match-high 14 kills to go along with two blocks while junior outside Karla Sosa (Brownsville, TX) and senior middle hitter Saraya Klink (Fuquay-Varina, NC) both finished with nine attacks apiece. Senior setter Michelle Olmeda-Gonzalez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 40 assists and eight digs.
All three sets were extremely tight as both teams showed signs wanting to punch their ticket to the championship match. Shaw finished with a hitting percentage of .293, gathering 46 kills, 45 assists, 28 digs, six blocks and three pivotal service aces while WSSU hit .244 from the floor for 34 kills, 29 assists, 22 digs, five service aces and four blocks.
Shaw led 8-4 to start the first set after back-to-back kills from Klink. The Lady Bears controlled the pace of the set midway despite the Rams efforts to stay within range but later the down stretch, WSSU scored three unanswered points to take a smidge 22-21 mount but a kill from Sosa and Wattley, followed by a service ace gave the Lady Bears the 25-23 set win and 1-0 lead.
With a 5-1 lead early in the second set, Shaw then pushed its lead to six thanks to a put down from Wattley but the Rams responded by scoring four-straight – forcing the Lady Bears to call a timeout. Out of the break, the Rams picked up where they left off, producing two more points to lead 12-10 over Shaw. Nevertheless, it continued to be a battle, including three ties late before Shaw put together a 6-4 scoring margin to edge the Rams and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third stanza came down to the final three points after a Shaw error led to a 22-22 tie. An attack error from Danyale Berry gave the Lady Bears a 23-22 tip before back-to-back kills from Wattley secured the 25-22 set win and 3-0 sweep.
Winston-Salem State concludes their season 16-15 overall.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's volleyball and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit www.shawbears.com.