Shaw defeats Virginia State for CIAA volleyball championship

Salem, VA – The Lady Bears of Shaw University captured the 2018 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Volleyball Championship title with a 3-1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-19, 28-26) victory over the Trojans of Virginia State University on Saturday night. The Lady Bears will await the NCAA Division II regional announcement for their seed in the Atlantic Region Tournament.

The teams went back and forth in the first set, both suffering from a number of service errors throughout. As the teams strived to get into a groove, the Trojans settled into pace first. After tying the Lady Bears 7-7, the Trojans went on a 5-point scoring streak by capitalizing on Shaw’s errors. Shaw attempted to slow the pace with a timeout, but the Trojan’s continued to chip away and eventually swelled the score margin to 18-11.Five out of six of the Trojan’s final points were achieved by the Lady Bears’ dismay and the match was awarded to Virginia State, 25-17.

The second set also came off on a rocky start, but at 12-10 the two teams entered a heated volley ending with a kill by Jazmin Johnson-McCoy which sparked a rally for the Lady Bears. Leaving Virginia State stunned, Keveesha Wattley rounded out the set with two kills and a block for Shaw’s first victory of the night, 25-19.

The third set only continued Shaw’s momentum as the team tacked on points 4 at a time. At 21-14 the Lady Bears went on a run while the Trojans were scrambling to take control on the court. A kill which landed out the back side of the baseline gave the ball back to the Trojans just in time to hold the Lady Bears off from match point. Tyler Hunter took matters into her own hands with a kill from the outside to seal the deal, 25-19.

The Trojans wouldn’t let the Lady Bears take the crown without a fight and stayed close throughout the entire fourth set. After several lead changes, Virginia State established themselves for a short time until suffering several errors which turned the lead over to the Lady Bears. As Shaw entered match point, Tiara Ramey took a quick set from teammate Bria Anderson and found a hole. Tied at 25 and 26, the Trojans couldn’t hang on long enough and fell by two set points, 28-26.

The Lady Bears team finished the evening with 54 kills, 33 digs, and 8 blocks while the Trojans went for 52 kills, 27 digs, and 7 blocks. Shaw’s Keveesha Wattley, 2018-CIAA Tournament MVP, led he match with 16 kills while Jailyn Ivey of Virginia State followed close behind with 15.

With the conference championship victory, the Shaw Bears earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament.

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