ORANGEBURG, SC (Sept. 23, 2021) – The Claflin Lady Panthers (3-3, 1-0 CIAA) opened Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play in style when the team took a dominant three-set win over the Livingstone College Blue Bears (2-1, 0-1 CIAA), Thursday evening. The team put on a defensive showcase to begin conference play in the 25-12, 25-12, and 25-17 victory.

As a team, the Lady Panthers put on one of their best defensive performances of the season when they only allowed 43 combined points to the Blue Bears in the win. The Lady Panthers held the Blue Bears to just 18 kills for the entire match while compiling 28 kills of their own. Junior middle hitters Mya Broom led the way for the Lady Panthers with eight kills and five block assists in the match. Senior middle blocker Sadaiya Edouard added four block assists. Sophomore outside hitter Danielle Branch also had eight kills as well.

The Lady Panthers started the match on a hot streak and never looked back. The team opened the first set of the match with a dominating 18-3 run that included three straight Branch kills. From there, the Lady Panthers cruised to the 25-12 opening set win. The second set looked like more of the same for the Lady Panthers as the team put on another dominating performance. The team jumped out to a 7-2 lead over the Blue Bears after an Edouard service ace. The team allowed the Blue Bears to pull to within two points, 7-5, but the Lady Panthers would never let their lead slip away. The Lady Panthers’ most impressive run came when the team scored five straight points, I a run that include three kills. The effort left the team with a 14-6 lead over the Blue Bears. From there, the Lady Panthers claimed the 25-12 win.

While the Lady Panthers dominated the first and second sets from beginning to end, the third set saw a different performance in the third set. The Lady Panthers got off to a slow start in the set and allowed the Blue Bears to take a 4-1 lead. However, the Lady Panthers stormed back in a big way with a six-point run that included back-to-back blocks. The effort left the Lady Panthers with a 7-4 lead. From there, the Lady Panthers went on to build a 23-15 lead after a four-point run. From there, the Lady Panthers closed out the set with a 25-17 win that was closed out by a kill from freshman Taneja Robinson.

With the win, the Lady Panthers improve to 3-3 to open the season. The team will hit the road for their next action as they will head to Charlotte, North Carolina to take on the Johnson C. Smith Lady Golden Bulls, Monday.