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Photo by Donald Watkins.
Photo by Donald Watkins.

SALEM, Va. – The No. 2 seeded; Shaw University women's volleyball team earned a 3-0 sweep over the No. 1 seeded Trojans of Virginia State University in the first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Semifinal match on Friday afternoon at the Salem Civic Center.


The Lady Bears (17-9) claimed the straight sets by the scores of 25-23, 25-14 and 25-22. Shaw will face the Fayetteville State University in a title match after the Broncos defeated Winston-Salem State, 3-1.


Sunday's tilt will mark the fifth-consecutive CIAA championship match for the Lady Bears, the defending CIAA champions. First serve in the 2019 CIAA Women's Volleyball Championship between Shaw and Fayetteville State will begin at 12 noon at the Salem Civic Center.


Senior Jailynn Butler (Parker, AZ) paced the Lady Bears with a match-high 16 kills to go along with seven four digs while senior Amari Fletcher (Phoenix, AZ) added 12 kills. Sophomore Jada Flowers (Valrico, FL) dished out 34 assists while collecting six digs as senior Aisja Jones recorded a team-high nine stops and four assists.


In the opening set, Shaw did not break up away from the Trojans until the Lady Bears went on a 3-0 spurt to take a 19-15 lead. Both teams traded points prior to VSU closing the gap to 21-20 on an attack error from Shaw. The Lady Bears then took advantage of the Trojans miscues, pushing its lead 24-21 before closing out the set win with a kill from Butler.


After three ties in the second stanza, Shaw scored four unanswered points to take a 7-4 capped off by a kill from senior Karla Sosa (Brownsville, TX). VSU trimmed at the deficit as Ambria McBride pulled the Trojans within one (7-6) but the Lady Bears used a 6-3 scoring frame to stretch its lead 13-9, forcing VSU to call a timeout.


Out of the break, Shaw swelled to its largest lead of the match after charting a 9-1 run and 22-11 lead. Back-to-back errors from the Lady Bears gave the Trojans some hope but it would be all Shaw as the Lady Bears sealed the win on two-straight kills from Sosa.


Facing a 2-0 deficit in the match, VSU gained momentum after taking an 8-3 lead to begin the third set. Shaw managed to claw its way back on several occasion but as the Lady Bears pulled within one, the Trojans found a way to sustain its lead.


VSU maintained control throughout the third stanza until two consecutive errors provided a 19-19 knot but a kill from Butler broke the sets fifth tie as Shaw captured a 23-20 edge on a service ace from Jones. The Trojans tried to reel off the Lady Bears, but a relentless Shaw team scored its final two points on kills from both Butler and Fletcher for the 3-0 sweep.


The Trojans were led by Jailynn Ivey with nine kills and eight digs while Bria Anderson contributed 13 assists. VSU concludes its season 16-11 overall.


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