The Fayetteville State volleyball team came back from two sets down in its CIAA opener on Monday evening to defeat the Winston-Salem Lady Rams in five sets 3-2 as Ifeyinwa Nwokolo (Sr., Greensboro, NC) paced the way with a team-high 18 kills in the contest. The Lady Broncos improve to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in CIAA play, while the Lady Rams fall to 0-9 overall and 0-1 in conference action. Fayetteville State won the match by scores of 23-25, 22-25, 25-12, 25-14, 15-4.
Winston-Salem State controlled the first two sets of the contest outhitting the Lady Broncos 0.276 (13 kills, 5 errors and 29 total attacks) to 0.000 (10 kills, 10 errors & 31 total attacks) in the opening set, while tallying 11 kills in the second set to Fayetteville State's nine. The first few points of the opening set went back-and-forth between both teams before the Lady Broncos went ahead 15-12. The Lady Rams answered back with three straight points to tie the set 15-15. FSU would go up as much as four points at 19-15, until WSSU went on a 10-4 run at the end to capture the first set. Nwokolo led the Lady Broncos with five kills in the set.
The second set began in similar fashion to the first as both teams traded leads up to the midway point before the Lady Rams ran away late to edge Fayetteville State and go up 2-0 in the contest. Nwokolo tallied three kills in the second set for the Lady Broncos, while Joylene Thompson (Jr., Spanish Town JA), Shavon Shaw (Fr., Bethel, NC) and Jessica Hardy (So., Fayetteville, NC) had two kills each. The Lady Broncos did out-hit Winston-Salem State, but the FSU had four service errors.
From that point on Fayetteville State trailed just twice in the final three sets and cruised to its first conference victory of the season. The Lady Broncos won each of the final three sets by double-digit points.
FSU controlled the tempo on offense in the third set by outhitting Winston-Salem State 0.194 (13 kills, 7 errors, 31 total attacks) to -.069 (5 kills, 7 errors, 29 total attacks), while recording 13 kills to just five for the Lady Rams. After going up 9-7 against WSSU in set three, the Lady Broncos would go on a 16-5 run to end the set which included a stretch of seven consecutive points. Nwokolo led Fayetteville State on offense for the third straight set with five kills, while Jessica Hardy
(So., Fayetteville, NC) tallied four kills.
The Lady Broncos continued their momentum offensively in the fourth set. The Lady Rams held the lead for a couple of points early in the set, but Fayetteville State would go on multiple stretches where it held Winston-Salem State scoreless and led 19-9 at one point. Thompson and Nwokolo led the Lady Broncos on offense in the fourth set with four kills each.
The fifth and final set saw Fayetteville State tally a total of eight kills and one error in a race to 15 points. FSU jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead and reeled off five straight points to go ahead 12-2. After the Lady Rams scored back-to-back points for a 12-4 score, the Lady Broncos scored the final three points in the set to earn the come-from-behind win.
Hardy added 11 kills in the match for Fayetteville State, while Molly Farrington (Jr., Fayetteville, NC) contributed 24 assists. Paige Horne (Jr., Southern Pines, NC) added 17 assists as well.
The Lady Broncos will be back in action this weekend as they travel to Lincoln, PA for a CIAA Roundup with Virginia Union, Bowie State and Lincoln (PA). Fayetteville State will face Virginia Union and Bowie State on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, before facing Lincoln (PA) at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.