WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (18-7) gave a strong offensive performance, but the team could not match the UNC Pembroke Braves (7-24) in a four-set home loss, Wednesday evening. The Rams played well at times throughout the match, but some scoring droughts and untimely errors cost the Rams in the hard-fought, 21-25, 25-22, 19-25, and 19-25 loss.
The Rams took the loss in spite of a strong offensive showing, but some uncharacteristic errors and miscues cost the Rams in the loss. As a team, the Rams totaled 47 kills in the match, but the team committed 26 attack errors in the match. WSSU senior outside hitter Sydney Holland led the way for the Rams with and double-double 16 kills with 11 digs while freshman outside hitter Alexis Gregson-Hammond recorded 11 kills. Junior middle blocker Christa Brown recorded five total blocks (one solo) in the match.
The match started off with a dramatic run with neither team managing to pull away, but the Rams allowed a Braves rally midway through the set that the team could not overcome. The Rams and the Braves played to a 5-5 tie before a 5-2 rally by the Braves left the Rams trailing, 10-7. After falling behind by as many as four points, the Rams rallied for three straight points to cut their deficit down to one point, 13-14. The Rams kept the set within reach, 18-20, but the fell victim to a 5-3 late run by the Braves to take the 25-21 loss.
The second set saw a much improved effort by the Rams as the team took control of the set early and never looked back. The Rams opened the match with a 4-2 lead before UNC Pembroke worked their way back into the set to tie it at 10-10. The Rams and Braves would play to a 15-15 tie before the Rams took control of the set with three straight points to go ahead, 18-15. The Rams pushed their lead to as many as four points22-18, but UNC Pembroke would make things interesting when the WSSU lead was chipped down to one point, 23-22. After a UNCP attack error, Brown and junior outside hitter Mia Herrod combined for a block to end the set.
The Rams stumbled early in the third set and were never able to recover. The Rams fell behind early as UNC Pembroke jumped out to an 11-4 lead over the Rams. The team answered with a late five-point rally that pulled the Rams to within five points, 23-18. However, a Herrod kill was all the offense that the Rams could muster as UNC Pembroke closed out the set and gave the Rams the 25-19 loss.
The final set of the match was not a good one for the Rams. The Rams allowed UNC Pembroke to open the set with a 10-1 rally, one of the worst droughts of the season for the Rams. The Rams continued to battle, but the team would never cut its deficit down to any fewer than seven points. After playing a 17-22 deficit, the Rams allowed three straight points to the Braves to seal the loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 18-7 overall. The team will close out the 2017 regular season when the team hosts the Livingstone Blue Bears in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Senior Day 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.