After narrowly dropping the first set to visiting Fayetteville State, the UNCP volleyball team couldn’t keep up with the Broncos as they lost to their regional foe (25-23,25-12, 25-11) in straight sets on Sept. 28 in Pembroke.
The Braves (3-12) faced an early 7-3 deficit in the first set, but a service error by FSU (8-6) and a kill by Kiara Price on the ensuing possession sparked a rally for the hosts. After evening the score at 9-9, UNCP took its first lead of the night when an error by FSU’s Nia Bell put the Braves ahead 12-11.
Neither team was able to take a considerable advantage for the remainder of the set, exchanging scores until Chynaa Hunt knotted it up at 19-19 with a kill for the Broncos. UNCP responded by scoring three of the next six points to put themselves in position to take the set.
The Broncos, however, wouldn’t let the Braves close it out. A kill from Arlicia Ortiz and a trio of key blocks by the Broncos helped complete a comeback as FSU won the set 25-23.
FSU would go on to win the second set in a more convincing fashion. The Broncos mirrored their start to the opening set by jumping out to a 7-3 advantage, but this time the Braves couldn’t recover. Up 9-5 after three straight points for UNCP, the visitors started to pull away with an 11-1 run and ultimately earned a 25-13 victory.
Down to their last chance for a comeback, the Braves stayed close to the Broncos in the early stages of the final set. Trailing 8-6, the Braves saw their chances slip away with a pair of big runs from the Broncos. The first was a 7-1 surge that put the visitors up 15-7, and the second run came in the form of a 10-2 rally that secured a 25-11 win for FSU.
Madelyn Ashwell tallied a team-high nine kills for UNCP. Cayce Bell picked up 21 digs for the Braves.
Raven Ousley-Brown registered seven kills to lead the visitors, while Nakia McKinnie notched a game-high 23 assists.