LINCOLN, PA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (3-9, 2-0 CIAA) closed the first day of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Round Up with a perfect record when the team took a five-set win over the Virginia Union Panthers (2-8, 0-1 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams held off a feisty Panthers team for a 25-15, 19-25, 26-24, 18-25, and 15-11 victory.
The Rams used a balanced offensive attack to claim their second conference win of the day. As a team, the Rams totaled 60 kills in the match with four players reaching double-digit kills in the match. Sophomore middle hitter Alexis Gregson-Hammond led the way for the Rams with 16 kills. Junior outside hitter Ytae Cobb added 14 kills. Junior Miranda Taylor added 10 kills while junior Danyale Barry added 11 kills. Freshman libero Gabrielle Azar led the WSSU defense with 23 kills as well.
The opening set was a dominant one for the Rams as the team controlled the set from the very beginning. The Rams pulled away from the Panthers midway through the set with an 8-2 run that left WSSU on top, 19-9 after a Cobb service ace. From there, the Rams held the Panthers off to claim the 25-15 opening set win.
In the second set told a different story with an early WSSU lead disappearing late against the Panthers. The Rams opened the set in control with an 8-3 lead over the Panthers before the team allowed a late 9-2 run by the Panthers that cost the team the 19-25 set loss.
The Rams gathered themselves to claim a hard-fought third set win. The two teams played to a 20-20 tie before a three-point run by the Rams gave the team a 24-22 lead before the Panthers came back to tie the set, 24-24. A Taylor kill was then followed by a block from Gregson-Hammond and freshman Haley Tatu gave the Rams a 26-24 set win.
The fourth set saw the Rams struggle once again. After keeping the Panthers within a point, 16-15, the Rams fell into a slump with Virginia Union outscoring the team 9-3 to seal the 25-18 set loss.
With the match on the line, the Rams bounced back in a major way to claim a 15-11 set win and the five-set match victory. The two teams played to an 12-11 lead, the Rams ran off three straight points, including back-to-back kills from Cobb and Gregson-Hammond, followed by a VUU attack error to claim the match victory.
With the win, the Rams improve to 3-9 and 2-0 in CIAA play. The team will return to action tomorrow when they take on the Bowie State Bulldogs in a noon 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.