SALEM, VA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (16-15) capped the 2018 season with a great effort, but it was not enough as the team took a three-set loss to the top-seeded Shaw Lady Bears (20-8) in the semifinal round of the 2018 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Volleyball Championship Tournament. The Rams gave a great effort in all three sets of the match, falling 25-23, 25-23, and 25-22.
The Rams had a strong overall effort in spite of the loss. As a team, the Rams totaled 34 kills in the match, but they could not keep up with the Lady Bears who totaled 46 kills in the match. WSSU sophomore outside hitter Danyale Berry led the way for the Rams with a team-high 13 kills with a team-high seven digs while sophomore middle blocker Alexis Gregson-Hammond added eight kills.
Every set of the match was a dramatic one and it all began with a thrilling first set. Things looked tough early for the Rams as the team allowed the Lady Bears to take an 8-4 lead. After falling behind 8-13, the Rams responded in a big way with a 6-2 run that included a pair of kills from Gregson-Hammond. The Rams kept the set within reach and even took a 22-21 lead after scoring four unanswered points. The run included kills from Berry and freshman Alexis Bynum. After playing to a 23-23 tie, the Rams allowed back-to-back points to the Lady Bears to take the loss.
The second set was just as thrilling with the Rams once again giving it their all. Once again, the Ram as allowed the Lady Bears to take an early lead and falling behind, 1-5. The team got back into things in a big way with six-point run that included a service ace from freshman Tailar Jackson and back-to-back kills from Berry. The effort gave the Rams a 12-10 lead. The two teams played to a late 18-18 tie, but the Rams soon fell behind, 20-23. The team scored back-to-back points to pull to within a point of the Lady Bears, 22-23, but Shaw claimed two of the next three points to hand the Rams the tough 25-23 loss.
The Rams saved one of their best efforts of the season when they needed it the most with a great effort in the third loss, but the effort was not quite enough. After falling behind, 7-9, the Rams struck back in a big way. The team went on a 7-1 run that included two kills from Jackson and two from Berry. The effort gave the Rams a 13-10 lead. The Rams held their lead late into the set, going ahead 20-17. However, the team allowed a four-point run by the Lady Bears to fall behind, 21-22. The Rams would tie the set when Shaw committed a service error. However, the point was the last one of the season for the Rams as the team allowed three straight points to the Lady Bears to take the 25-22 set loss.
With the loss, the Rams close the 2018 season with a 16-15 record. 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.