WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (3-3) defended home court once again when the team took an impressive four-set win over the Concord Mountain Lions (3-6). The Rams looked good for the entire match with some quality offense in all four sets of the match; winning 25-15, 25-23, 18-25, and 25-19.
The Rams' offense powered the team to the win as the Rams totaled 50 kills in the match while holding Concord to just 40. The Rams also benefitted from a great defensive effort with nine blocks (one solo) and 53 digs. WSSU freshman Alexis Gregson-Hammond led the way for the Rams with 12 kills while senior outside hitter Jasmine Smith added 11 kills and junior outside hitter Mia Herrod added 10. Senior setter Mya Snow coordinated the effort with 24 assists while freshman setter Brittany Carpeter added 18. Sophomore libero added a match-high 21 digs while senior outside hitter Sydney Holland totaled 10.
The Rams controlled the opening set of the match. After opening the set with a 3-3 tie, the Rams pulled away with a 10-2 run that left the team on top 12-5. From there, the Rams had to fend off a rally by the Mountain Lions, but the Rams kept their seven-point advantage, 22-15. From there, the Rams pulled away with four straight points, including three kills from sophomore middle blocked Brycelin Spidel.
From there, the Rams had to fend off a tenacious second set from the Mountain Lions. The two teams played to an 11-11 tie before the Rams pulled away with three straight points to take a 15-14 lead. The two teams played to a 19-19 tie before the Rams took control for good. After a block from junior middle blocker Christa Brown put the Rams ahead 20-19, the team pulled ahead 24-21 after another block from Brown and Smith left the team ahead 24-21. The Rams allowed back-to-back scores by the Mountain Lions, but another block from Gregson-Hammond and Spidel closed the set with a 25-23 win.
The third set was a tough one for the Rams with Concord claiming the set. Though the Rams trailed early, the team worked their way into an 11-10 lead before once again falling behind, 14-19. From there, the Rams would cut their deficit down to four points, 18-22 after a Smith kill, the Rams allowed three straight points to the Mountain Lions to take the set loss.
The Rams would not allow the match to slip through their fingers, however, as the team powered its way to the win. The Rams jumped ahead early with a 6-2 lead in the set; however, Concord fought their way back into the set, cutting the WSSU lead down to one point 9-8. It was then that Brown served the Rams back control of the match with eight straight points, including three service aces during the rotation. The effort left the Rams on top, 17-8. From there, the Rams cruised until a late run by the Mountain Lions. After the Rams took a 23-14 lead, the Mountain Lions answered with three straight points, to cut the WSSU lead down to six points, 23-17. The Rams allowed back-to-back scores by the Mountain Lions to leave the score 24-19 before a Gregson-Hammond kill ended the match, 25-19.
With the win, the Rams improve to 3-3 on the season. The team will return to action, Saturday when they host the Lincoln (Pa.) Lions on the opening day of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Volleyball Round Up. The Rams and Lions will tip off at 3:00 p.m.
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.