WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (5-3, 2-0 CIAA) had to battle, but the team was up to the challenge when they took a hard-fought three-set win over the Chowan Hawks, (1-7, 1-1 CIAA) on the opening day of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Round Up, Saturday. The Rams had to battle for each set win, but were able to stage some strong rallies to claim the win, 25-17, 25-18, and 25-23.
As a team, the Rams gave a great overall effort to take the match win. The Rams took the win behind a strong defensive effort, holding the Hawks to 26 kills and taking advantage of 25 hitting errors by the Hawks. Offensively, the Rams had a solid day, totaling 33 kills along with 21 total blocks (one solo). WSSU junior outside hitter Mia Herrod led the way for the Rams with 10 kills while senior outside hitter Sydney Holland added nine kills. Senior right side hitter Jasmine Smith added eight kills.
The opening set was a close contest early, but the Rams broke out midway through the set to take control and never looked back. After falling behind 8-12, the Rams broke out for 12 straight points to take a 20-12 lead before a bad set ended the rally for the Rams. The damage was done, however, as the Rams pulled away with the 25-17 win.
The second set told a similar story for the Rams, who once again stepped up with a late rally to claim the win. This time, it was the Rams to take a 16-13 lead before a four-point rally by the Hawks left the Rams trailing, 16-17. After falling behind, 17-18, the Rams closed the set in style with eight straight points to wrap up the 25-18 win.
The third set was a tough affair with Chowan looking to close out the match. The two teams played to a close 14-15 score before the Rams once again broke out with four straight points to take a 20-15 lead. After going ahead 21-15, Chowan answered with seven straight points to cut the WSSU lead down to just one point, 22-21. But the Rams would not relent with back-to-back scores to take a 24-22 lead while Chowan added a kill to leave the Rams on top, 24-23. However, the Rams closed the match on a Smith kill.
With the win, the Rams improve to 5-3 with a 2-0 record in CIAA play. The Rams will return to action, tomorrow morning when the team takes on the Virginia Union Lady Panthers in an 11:00 a.m. match. For more information on Rams volleyball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.