RALEIGH, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (8-3, 4-0 CIAA) stayed on a hot streak when the team took an impressive three-set road win over the Saint Augustine's Falcons (1-3, 1-3 CIAA), Monday evening. The Rams needed a great defensive performance to claim the win over a feisty Falcons team that refused to give in. In the end, a strong service effort with some great front line play powered the Rams to the win, 25-18, 25-8, and 25-17.
The Rams put on a solid overall performance in the match. The Rams were especially efficient in the match, totaling 25 kills in the match with only 11 attack errors. WSSU utilized a balanced overall attack to claim the match win with junior middle blocker Christa Brown leading the way with six kills and four total blocks (none solo) in the match. The senior duo of outside hitters Mia Herrod and Jasmine Smith both totaled five kills each as well. Smith also totaled four service aces as well. Senior defensive specialist Michelle Murray-Garcia led the Rams with nine digs.
The first set was a competitive one for the Rams with a fast start leading to a furious ending by the Rams. In the early going, the Rams cruised, taking a 5-1 lead over the Falcons. The run included a pair of service aces from Smith. However, Saint Augustine's answered with a run of their own to tie the set, 6-6. After pushing their lead back to two points, 11-9, the Rams saw another Falcons rally that tied the set, 11-11. However, it was then that the Rams would reclaim control of the set for good. The Rams went on a 7-3 run that included another Smith service ace as well as one from Murray-Garcia, and left the Rams on top, 18-14. After keeping their lead at three points, 21-18, the Rams went on a four-point rally to close the set with the final two points coming on SAU miscues.
The second set was much different as the Rams pulled away from the Falcons for a dominant 25-8 set victory. The set included a 9-1 run and a 14-3 run en route to the victory.
The third set was a much tougher effort for the Rams as the home crowd inspired a tremendous effort from the Falcons. Things looked good early for the Rams as the team opened the set with a 9-1 rally. The Rams remained in control, but Saint Augustine's chipped away at the WSSU lead and left the Rams on top, 11-6. However, the Rams answered with three straight points to stay ahead 14-6. It was then that SAU staged a comeback. The Rams soon found themselves holding off a 5-1 run by the Falcons that cut the WSSU lead down to four points 15-11. After allowing the Falcons to within three points, 19-16, the Rams soon pulled away when the team outscored the Falcons, 6-1 to claim the 25-17 win and sealed the match victory. It was Brown that powered the Rams to the win with a pair of kills and a block assist in the run while it was Smith that ended the match with the final point.
With the win, the Rams claim their seventh straight victory and remain an undefeated 4-0 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action this weekend when they head to Petersburg, Va. to take part in the CIAA Round Up. The Rams will open the Round Up, Saturday when the team takes on the host Virginia State Trojans.
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