The Alcorn State University (ASU) Lady Braves (1-27, 0-9) hosted the Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) Lady Devils (4-19, 2-6) on Monday, October 9th with a 6:00 pm start time. This night was especially special as each member of the Lady Braves’ Volleyball team selected an influential professor and honored them right before the matchup began. Alcorn entered the matchup winless in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play while Mississippi Valley State entered second to last in the Conference. Both teams came in desperate for Conference wins as the opening rally began.
Alcorn opened the game a bit sluggish as Mississippi Valley started strong with 6 consecutive points. The Braves would respond as Freshman Deharri Thompkins got Alcorn on the scoresheet with a huge kill. In addition to Thompkins’ opening score, she kept up her excellent play with a dig and a block all within minutes. The Devils continued to apply the pressure as they pushed ahead to an 11-5 first set lead. Alcorn’s Head Volleyball Coach Chelsie Lucas urgently made adjustments in hopes of preventing the Devil’s scoring pace. Among those adjustments made was bringing in Junior Alondra Rivera Modesto who added size to the lineup, played with high energy and added 2 blocks in the first set. Starter Singryd Valadares was very valuable for the Braves. In the first set she registered 3 consecutive kills but as the first set progressed Alcorn continued to respond to the good play by the Devils but never tied or took the lead. Nevertheless, Mississippi Valley prevailed as they won the first set by the score of 25-18.
After only a 7-point loss in the first set, the Lady Braves looked optimistic entering the second set. Similarly to the first set, Alcorn surrendered 4 consecutive points to the Devils early. Also similarly to the first set, Valadares dominated on the court. She added a plethora of kills to her stat sheet as well as 2 blocks. Backed by Valadares’ great play, the Braves stormed back to cut the deficit to a compelling 10-7 score. Alcorn Freshman phenom, Fiapaipai Iosia, contributed to the second set with numerous digs for her team at the libero position. While the Braves had a few players standout with great individual sets, the team was unsuccessful collectively as they lost the second set 25-13.
Unlike the first two sets, Alcorn took the lead to start set number 3. Set three went back and forth until Mississippi Valley ultimately took a 7-6 lead. After taking the lead, the Devils scored 8 straight points to extend the lead to 15-6. However, the Braves didn’t give up. They continued to fight as Valadares and Iosia attempted to bring their team back into the match. The Braves would eventually drop the 3rd set and lose the match. The Lady Devils improved their SWAC record to 2-6 as they left Lorman with a victory.
Despite the loss, the Lady Braves did have great individual performances. Valadares had an excellent match as she ended with a career high 11 kills. Iosia added a team high 12 digs and Jasmine Chambers contributed with 9 digs, 3 spikes and 2 kills. The Lady Braves have 6 remaining home games left as they attempt to make the SWAC Tournament which will be held on November 17-19, 2017 in Jackson, Mississippi.