Nov. 23, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - The Fayetteville State University volleyball team is crowned champion again.
The Lady Broncos outlasted Winston-Salem State in four sets (25-23, 26-28, 25-16, 25-22) on Saturday at Felton J. Capel Arena to earn their fifth Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament title and their second tournament title in as many years.
FSU will find out its opponent for the NCAA Division II Tournament at the NCAA's selection show on Monday.
Joylene Thompson, a senior, was named the tournament's most valuable player after an 18-kill, three-ace performance. Senior libero JaMisha Jordan and freshman outside hitter Samira Luisjoined Thompson on the All-Tournament Team.
"In the Chowan match (in the semifinal earlier Saturday morning), they were playing an offensive game, that is to get me out of the game. In this match, our passes were on more and I could work myself into the game," Thompson said. "Executing is what I do."
In three of the four sets, FSU built an early margin only to have the Lady Rams claw back and make it close late. In the second set, FSU failed to turn a 24-21 lead into a win. The 10-minute intermission that followed, however, allowed the Lady Broncos to refocus.
"That intermission actually worked for us," coach Reeshemah Johnsonsaid. "We played earlier this morning and so that little break actually helped us. We did some things with our legs wrong and just talked about it. They were really focused, so there wasn't a lot to bring them back."
That set followed an opening frame that saw the Lady Broncos jump out to a 9-3 lead, hold the margin to 16-9 and keep it a seven-point gap at 20-13. The Lady Rams scored 10 of the next 14 points to pull within 24-23, but FSU didn't let it slip away. Luis got the decisive kill.
That second set loss occurred after FSU blew 18-13 and 24-21 leads. It was knotted at 26 apiece when Darissa Jones got a kill and Luis had an attack error.
The third set opened with back and forth play to the point of eight ties in the set's first 16 points. Then, just as quickly, the Lady Broncos reeled off eight consecutive points to take a 16-8 lead.
"That's what champions do," Johnson said. "Champions maintain their composure under pressure."
WSSU never got closer than six the rest of that set, then entered set four needing a win to continue the match.
It didn't happen.
Despite jumping out to a 12-10 lead, the Lady Rams were not able to withstand the Lady Broncos turn at a rally. After trailing 15-12, FSU scored 10 of the next 12 points to take a 22-17 lead. Once it got to 24-22, Thompson - fittingly - recorded the final kill.
Cindy Ehrich, Chowan
Nikira Fults, Chowan
JaMisha Jordan, Fayetteville State
Samira Luis, Fayetteville State
Joylene Thompson, Fayetteville State
Aubree Parker, Virginia State
Diamond Simpson, Virginia State
Kayla Brass, Winston-Salem State
Olivia Owens, Winston-Salem State
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Joylene Thompson, Fayetteville State
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