ST. AUGUSTINE’S STUNS WINSTON-SALEM STATE, ADVANCES TO CIAA FINAL
ST. AUGUSTINE'S STUNS WINSTON-SALEM STATE, ADVANCES TO CIAA FINAL
Led by All-CIAA players Tokarski and Parris, Lady Falcons sweep past Lady Rams
HAMPTON, Va. – Kathryn Tokarski and Keisha Parris and the St. Augustine's Lady Falcons are seeking redemption.
And they're playing like it.
Less than 24 hours after Winston-Salem State had pulled off the biggest shocker of the CIAA Volleyball Tournament, the Lady Falcons returned the favor, stunning the Lady Rams in straight sets in the semifinals on Saturday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Va.
Parris, with a match-high 13 kills, and Tokarski, with eight kills and nine digs, were particularly brilliant in leading the Lady Falcons (16-16) back to the CIAA Championship game following their dominant 25-17, 25-16 and 25-17 victory.
"We've wanted to get back here so badly after losing (to Chowan) in the finals last year," said Tokarski, a First Team All-CIAA player. "We've been seeking redemption, even after the kind of season we've had, which hasn't been the best. But we want this one more than anything."
It looked like it, as St. Augustine's, the Southern Division's No. 3 seed which needed a tiebreaker just to advance to the semifinal round, thoroughly dominated the Lady Rams (19-10), who were the only team to finish pool play on Friday unbeaten and came into the match having won 14 of their last 15 matches, beating previously-league unbeaten Chowan in the process.
But Winston-Salem State, which had swept the regular season series against the Lady Falcons, had nothing for St. Augustine's, which used a 9-2 run fueled by five Parris kills to jump out to the opening set victory.
The Lady Rams had little answer in the second half of the second set against Victoria Davis and the Lady Falcons, who shook off eight ties and seven lead changes to rip off a 9-2 run that ballooned to a closing 16-4 spurt for another comfortable set victory.
The third set belonged to Tokarski, especially after the Lady Rams closed within one at 16-15. St. Augustine's scored seven straight points to close the match, six of them with Tokarski serving. She added two kills in the spurt, which was closed out by a block by Roxanne Smith and Brittany Hicks.
"Everybody just came together and played to their utmost abilities at the same time," said Parris, who added five assists and eight digs. "It's an outstanding feeling."
Francesca Edgerton led Winston-Salem State with nine kills while Kiara Brown had 20 assists and 10 digs.
The championship match will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday.