ORANGEBURG, SC – The Claflin Lady Panthers (6-6, 4-2 CIAA) put up a fight, but the team fell just short in a four-set loss to the Fayetteville State Lady Broncos (8-3, 4-1 CIAA), Thursday evening. The loss came despite a terrific effort by the Lady Panthers who fell 17-25, 17-25, 25-21, and 14-25.
As a team, the Lady Panthers showed no shortage of effort, but the team struggled to get their offense going against the Lady Broncos. The Lady Panthers totaled 34 kills in the match. The dup of junior outside hitter Simone Newell and senior middle hitter Makaylen Crosby both totaled seven kills each in the match. Senior middle blocker Sadaiya Edouard led the defense with three total blocks (two solo) along with three service aces.
The struggles began early for the Lady Panthers as the team had a hard time finding their way in the first two sets of the match. In the first set, the Lady Panthers got off to a strong start with a 7-3 lead, but the team allowed three unanswered points to the Lady Broncos to tie the set, 14-14 before allowing a 10-3 run to the lady Broncos and taking the 25-17 loss in the set. In the second set, The second set told a different story as the Lady Panthers showed some strong fight in the set. After allowing the Lady Broncos to take a 4-1 lead to open the set, the Lady Panthers clawed their way back into the set with three straight points to tie the set, 4-4. After playing to a 7-8 score, the Lady Panthers ran into some struggles when the team allowed five unanswered scores by the Lady Broncos. And fell behind, 7-14. The Lady Panthers showed some life with a 6-2 run that pulled the team to within two points of the Lady Broncos, 15-17. After playing to a 16-19 score, however, the Lady Panthers fell victim to a 6-1 Fayetteville State run that ended the 17-25 loss for the Lady Panthers.
It was in the third set that the Lady Panthers came to life. In a set that saw the Lady Panthers go ahead and then held off the Lady Broncos until the Lady Panthers pulled out the win. The Lady Panthers got things going early when the team jumped out to a 7-3 lead. After allowing the Lady Broncos to cut the Claflin down to just one point, 17-16. It was then that the Lady Panthers broke out for a 7-2 run to go ahead 24-18. After allowing three straight points to the Lady Broncos, the Lady Panthers closed the win with a Lady Broncos attack error that sealed the 25-21 set win.
The fourth set saw the Lady Panthers’ struggles arise once again. This time the Lady Panthers were never able to claim a lead and fell behind by as many as nine points, 10-19. The Lady Panthers were able to rally late with three of the final five points, but unfortunately, the Lady Panthers ended the night with the 14-25 loss.
With the loss, the Lady Panthers fall to 6-6 overall and 4-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action, Monday when they host the Saint Augustine’s Falcons in a 6:00 p.m. match.