Sept. 26, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The Fayetteville State Lady Broncos got off to a slow start against St. Augustine's on Monday night.
That was about all they did wrong.
The Lady Broncos picked up a key divisional victory by sweeping the Lady Falcons in straight sets, prevailing by the scores of 25-20, 25-17 and 25-23 at Felton J. Capel Arena.
Fayetteville State (12-9, 8-2, 4-), which remained unbeaten in the CIAA's Southern Division, trailed 9-2 in the early going of the opening set, only to rip off 10 of the next 12 points to take a 12-11 lead. A later 7-1 spurt set the Lady Broncos up at game point before a kill by Ifeyinwa Nwokolo (Jr., Greensboro, N.C.) closed the set out, putting Fayetteville State in the driver's seat the rest of the way.
"We don't like digging holes for ourselves, and we want to try to stay away from that, but it says a lot about the character of our team for the way we're able to battle back," said Fayetteville State head coach Reeshemah Johnson. "I'm pleased with the way we played after the rough start."
The Lady Broncos, who have won nine of their last 12 matches, cruised through the second set, and despite finding themselves in lengthy points, got off to a quick start, taking a 9-2 edge. At that point, playing perhaps their best stretch of volleyball thus far this season, Fayetteville State had outscored St. Aug's 34-13.
A couple of minor Lady Falcons' runs brought St. Augustine's within two points a couple of times, but Fayetteville State refused to relinquish the lead, scoring nine of the set's last 12 points to pick up a rather easy victory.
The Lady Falcons (6-10, 6-3, 1-2) got off to another good start in the third set, getting the favorable end of several well-contested points to build an 11-5 advantage.
But like the first set, that edge did not last long.
Joi Emanuel (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.) scored points on three tremendous blocks, sparking a 7-0 run that eventually grew to 12-3 and a 17-14 Lady Broncos' lead.
The set remained tight from there, and was tied at 21 before Nikita Cheadle
(So., Hope Mills, N.C.) took over, scoring three points - a floater and two thunderous kills - to push Fayetteville State through on the third match point.
Nwokolo and Cheadle led the Lady Broncos with nine kills apiece while JaMisha Jordan (So., Fayetteville, N.C.) added 23 assists. Octavia Wynn (Jr., Hope Mills, N.C.) added eight kills while Decausha McLean (So., Fayetteville, N.C.) put the offensive in position to make critical attacks, leading all players with 15 digs to go with four service aces.
Keisha Parris led St. Aug's with 11 kills while Kathryn Tokarski added seven. Roxanne Smith had 23 assists.
Fayetteville State stuck to its winning ways over the weekend in a tri-match on Saturday, taking a 3-1 victory over Coker College on the road.
The Lady Broncos, getting double-digit kills from three players - LaToya Harvin (Fr., Belle Glade, Fla.), Wynn and Emanuel - picked up a match-high 38 assists, 14 digs and five service aces from Jordan. Cheadle added 12 digs while McLean had 10.
Fayetteville State won the match 25-22, 21-25, 25-21 and 25-23 to win for the eighth time in their last 11 matches.
The Lady Broncos fell to Lenoir-Rhyne in straight sets in their other weekend match.