Rams Pull Away Late for Four-Set WIn Over Johnson C. Smith

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (12-4, 8-1 CIAA) needed a great effort, but the team was up to the challenge when they scored a four-set win over the johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls (9-4, 7-3 CIAA), Monday evening. After some tough early sets, the Rams turned on their efforts late to pull away from the Golden Bulls to take the win, 22-25, 25-15, 25-12, and 25-17.

The Rams took the win behind a great offensive effort. The Rams totaled 51 kills to take the win while holding JCSU to 31 kills and benefitting from 24 attack errors by the Golden Bulls. WSSU junior outside hitter Mia Herrod led the way for the Rams with 16 kills win the match while senior outside hitter Jasmine Smith added nine kills. The Rams also had a strong defensive effort with sophomore middle blocker Brycelin Spidel totaling six blocks (two solo) in the match.

The first set was a tough one for the Rams when the team allowed the Golden Bulls to take an early lead and was never able to get back into the set. Johnson C. Smith jumped out with an early 6-1 lead over the Rams before WSSU got back into the set with and 8-1 rally to go ahead 11-9. The Rams' control of the set would not last as the team fell behind 16-22 after an 8-2 JCSU rally. From there, the Rams were able to stage a late rally of their own to cut their deficit down to just two points, 22-24, but a WSSU attack error ended the set for the Rams and gave the team the 22-25 opening set loss.

After taking the opening set loss, the Rams got things into gear in a big way with dominating efforts in the remaining three sets. IN the second set, the Rams took an early 8-7 lead before pulling away with an 8-1 rally that included four JCSU attack errors and kills from junior middle blocker Christa Brown and senior outside hitter Sydney Holland. The effort left the Rams on top, 22-12 . From there, the Rams pulled way to claim the 25-15 set win.

The third set saw more of the same from the Rams. The Rams jumped out to an 11-4 lead. The run included a service ace from senior setter Mya Snow. The Rams continued their control of the set with a 4-1 last rally that put the Rams on top, 20-10. The Rams ended the set in style with a 5-1 run that sealed the 25-12 set win.

The fourth set continued to be a strong one for the Rams as the team pulled way late from the Golden Bulls. Once again, the Rams jumped ahead with an early 12-3 lead with a rally that included three straight kills from freshman Alexis Gregson-Hammond. Johnson C. Smith would not quite go away when the team went on to cut the WSSU lead down to four points, 14-10. Johnson C. Smith continued to push, cutting the WSSU lead down to as few as three points, 18-15. However, the Rams would not let their win slip away. The Rams went on to close out the set with an 8-2 run with a Smith kill ending the match, 25-17.

With the win, the Rams improve to 12-4 overall and 8-1 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. More importantly, the win pushes the Rams into a first place tie in the CIAA Southern Division. The Rams will return to action tomorrow when the team hosts Belmont Abbey in a 7:00 p.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.