Courtesy: SWAC Alabama State swept Southern to earn the 2014 SWAC Championship title Sunday night at the Cliford Seymour Gymnasium. This marked the second time in two years the Hornets won. Match scores include: 25-17, 25-16, 25-18.
Tiara Kelley led the match in kills with 10, while Phalen Clark set for 23 assists. Jaime Coleman and Ellyn Jones share the match-high in digs, 10 apiece.
Myla Marshall was named Most Valuable Play, while Coach Penny Lucas-White was named Coach of the Year. The All-Tournament Team is as follow: Myla Marshall (Alabama State), Rachel Smith (Alabama State), Kyanna Sales (Alabama A&M), Taiji Thomas (Jackson State), Mikayla Rolle (Jackson State), Phalen Clark(Southern) and Lelani Lealaimatafao.
Volleys presented themselves as both teams swung for a tied set. Southern gained a four-point lead, but miscommunication pushed Alabama State ahead. Building a seven-point lead, the Hornets caused Southern to call a timeout. With 19-12 on the score board, ASU continued making effective plays, leaving the score in the first set, 25-17. The Hornets kept the Jaguars at a hitting percentage of .061, while the earned a percentage of .393. ASU also led in blocking with five to Southern’s one.
Southern earned the first point in the second set. The Jaguars fostered an impressive lead due to blocks and kills, but not without a Hornet fight. ASU buzzed its way back, taking over the set by two. The set went on with both team scoring and a score of 14-14. Under Setter of the Year Ellyn Jones, the Hornets marched back up with a two-point gap. Wasting no time, ASU gained complete control, ending the set, 25-16.
With hopes of finishing the set and winning the match, the Hornets climbed their way to a one-point lead. A kill from Shauntia Carr placed Southern back in the lead with a three-point cushion. Errors from the Jaguars allowed ASU to tie the set at 11, then 12. After a few volleys, Alabama State secured a three-point lead. Southern tried to work its way back into the set, but ASU shut them down at every turn. Repeating as SWAC champions, Alabama State ended the set, 25-18, winning the set, 3-0.