The Clark Atlanta University Lady Panthers dropped their first conference match of the season Tuesday to the Albany State Golden Rams, 3 sets to 1. Clark Atlanta is coming off a win against Fort Valley State University on Tuesday, September 5.
Clark Atlanta head coach Joelle Mafo gave insight on what led to the loss, “We got beat mentally,” he said. “We were not mentally tough or mentally strong to stop them.”
Freshman outside hitter Jarianis Perez and sophomore outside hitter Kennedi Wallace led the charge for the Golden Rams to seal the deal in the fourth and final set. Perez collected 4 kills and Wallace collected 3. The Golden Rams racked 16 kills this set and were aided by five errors by the Lady Panthers.
Albany State outscored the Lady Panthers 25 to 20 to secure the victory.
The outcome of the third set was the same score, 25 to 20, with the Golden Rams coming out on top.
Both teams had the same number of total attempts this set (29) and the Lady Panthers only had one more error (5) than the Golden Rams (4) but kills played the biggest role. Clark Atlanta underperformed in kills, being outscored 13 to 8.
The second set was the closest the Lady Panthers came to winning since winning the first set.
The Golden Rams opened the second set scoring 5 straight points on 4 Lady Panther errors and a service ace from sophomore setter Natalie Onozie. Albany State benefited greatly from the 9 Lady Panther errors and their 10 collected kills, 4 kills coming from junior outside hitter Sydney Melton.
Nonetheless, the Golden Rams committed 7 errors themselves and only outscored Clark Atlanta by 2 kills.
The Golden Rams won the second set in a close 26 to 24 score.
The Lady Panthers opened the first set appearing a lot different compared to the next 3 sets. Despite the Lady Panthers winning the first set 26 to 24, Albany State had three more kills (13) than Clark Atlanta (10). The difference came from the 8 Golden Ram errors compared to the 3 Lady Panther errors.
Clark Atlanta will get on the road to play a tri-match against Wiley College and host Talladega College Thursday, Sept. 14.