The Grambling State University volleyball team rallied back from two sets down to pick up a 3-2 victory against the defending Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) champions, Alabama State, but dropped a match to Jackson State (3-1) to conclude play during the first day of action at the SWAC Round-up on the campus of Southern University. The Lady Tigers (2-13 overall, 1-1 SWAC) halted the Lady Hornets’ 43-match win streak against conference opponents and in the process picked up its first victory over Alabama State since 2009 (3-1 win on Nov. 22, 2009).
Match 1 vs. Jackson State (3-1 loss)
Grambling State took the opening set, 25-14, but Jackson State roared back to win the match with scores of 25-22, 25-17, 25-16. Chasity Nicks and Kevreion Ward each led Grambling State with 11 kills. L’Muriell Thrower and Sheila Borders tallied 20 and 14 assists, respectively, while Erineka Mollere added 10 digs. Brito Bianchi paced Jackson State with a match-high 13 kills on 21 attempts, while Kanile’a Nomura recorded 10 kills. Sapphire Simpson led all players with 23 assists and Markayshia Masani tallied a match-high 16 digs.
Match 2 vs. Alabama State (3-2 win)
Grambling State fell behind by two sets (25-14, 25-23), but defeated Alabama State in the third set, 26-24 and captured the fourth set, 25-14, to set up a thrilling final set. The Lady Tigers ended the conference’s longest active streak with a 15-10 fifth-set win. Nicks poured in a match-high 20 kills, while Thrower and Borders registered 24 and 17 assists, respectively. Mollere led the team defensively with a match-high 28 digs and Talicia Lang added 16 digs.
Krysta Medearis led three Alabama State players in double-digit kills with 16. Bayle’ Bennett tallied 13 kills and Candace Martin added 10.
Kori Kutsch registered a match-high 42 assists. Defensively, Kayla Torres led the way with 26 digs, while Bennett completed the double-double with 12 digs.