CHARLOTTE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (0-2) gave another tremendous effort, but the team fell short in a 2-3 loss to the California (Pa.) Vulcans at the 2017 Queens (N.C.) Fall Invitational in Charlotte, N.C. For the second straight match of the day, the Rams gave a tremendous effort, pushing the match to five sets, but the team could not pull out the victory in the tough loss.
Momentum swung to both sides of the court during the hard fought match. The Rams opened the match, holding off the Vulcans for a 25-23 win in the opening set before taking back-to-back set losses, 22-25 and 20-25 to fall behind 1-2. The Rams were able to dig down to pull out a 27-25 win in the fourth set to force a fifth set, but the team fell short, 9-15 in the final set of the match.
Individually, the Rams had some impressive performances in the hard-fought loss. Junior outside hitter Mia Herrod led the way for the Rams with 18 kills in the match while senior outside hitter Jasmine Smith added 13 kills. For the second match in a row, WSSU senior outside hitter Sydney Holland recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs in the match. Senior setter Mya Snow recorded a team-high 39 assists in the match while sophomore libero Makala Lytton added 31 digs.
The Rams took control of the first set early, but soon had to fend off a tenacious Vulcans team to claim the set win. The Rams opened the set on a roll with 6-4 lead before California (Pa.) battled back to claim a 7-8 lead. However, the Rams battled back to reclaim the lead and pushed it to as many as three points, 17-14 on a Herrod kill. The Rams soon found themselves trailing the Vulcans 21-23, but the Rams were able to rally to claim the win with a four-point run to seal the victory. The run included a Smith kill and back-to-back blocks from Holland a Herrod to seal the win.
The second and third sets of the match were tough for the Rams as the team battled, but could not quite get the points they needed to claim the sets. The Rams played the second set to a 15-15 tie before allowing a 6-1 run by the Vulcans to fall behind, 16-21. The team would cut their deficit down to three points, 20-23 but they would never get any closer, taking the 22-25 loss. The third set saw more struggles by the Rams as the team opened the set by falling victim to a 10-3 run by the Vulcans. The Rams would get things into gear with a 10-1 run that left the team on top, 15-14. The Rams would hold on to their one-point lead, 19-18 before California (Pa.) went on a 7-1 run that sealed the 25-20 loss.
The Rams would bounce back for an impressive fourth set win to force a fifth set in the match. The Rams opened the set with an impressive 12-7 start before allowing four straight points to the Vulcans that cut the WSSU lead down to just one point, 12-11. The Rams would push their lead to three points, 23-20 after a California (Pa.) attack error. The Rams had to fend off a furious rally by the Vulcans that included tying the set 25-25 before the Rams were able to take back-to-back kills by the Rams with freshman Jessica Young scoring a kill before a Herrod ace ended the 27-25 win for the Rams.
After forcing a fifth and final set in the match, the Rams gave a solid effort, but came up short. The Rams took control early with a 4-1 lead to open the set, but the team allowed a 4-1 run by the Vulcans that tied the set, 5-5. The Rams played the set to a 7-7 tie, but the team soon fell victim to a 6-2 run that sealed the 9-15 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 0-2 to open the season. The team will return to action tomorrow morning when they take on Francis Marion in a noon match and they will close out the tournament with a 4:00 p.m. match against the Wingate Bulldogs.
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.