By Mila Hill, Staff Reporter
The Howard Bison Volleyball team topped off their 12-2 MEAC record and top conference ranking with a conference championship on Sun, Nov. 21.
All eight MEAC volleyball teams gathered in the Burr Gymnasium in Washington, DC to fight for the 2021 trophy.
The Howard team coasted through the first two rounds of the tournament against South Carolina State (3-0) and North Carolina Central (3-1) before meeting Delaware State in the final round.
The game was highly anticipated as Howard and Delaware State met twice during the regular season with both teams taking home a win. The two teams also ended the regular season as co-champions with matching 12-2 conference records.
The Bison got off to a slow start in the first set against Delaware State. Despite strong efforts from the offense, Howard continued to trail behind the Hornets and lost the set 20-25.
Set two opened with service aces from junior setter Kayla Diaz and Howard continued with the lead from there to win it 25-21.
The Bison rolled into the third set and built a ten-point lead before stalling to lose six set points in a row. However, the ten-point cushion gave the team enough space to finish the set 25-20.
The fourth set continued with strong play and back-and-forth from both teams. However, the Bison offense won out in the end and the set again ended 25-20.
The MEAC championship victory completed a winning season from the Bison with an overall 18-12 record against talented opponents like Duke and NCAA #13 Oregon.
Multiple Howard players received weekly MEAC honors throughout the season and 12 were named to the MEAC All-Academic Team for their academic commitment during the fall semester.
Three Bison were given additional post-season honors. Bria Woodard was placed on the All-MEAC First Team and MEAC All-Rookie Team, while Tamar Wells was placed on the All-MEAC Second Team.
Cimone Woodard was also selected for both the All-MEAC Second Team and the MEAC All-Rookie Team.
Howard Volleyball also took home a slew of MEAC tournament honors.
Head Coach Shaun Kupferberg was crowned “Most Outstanding Coach” while freshman middle blocker Cimone Woodard was honored as “Most Outstanding Performer” and named to the 2021 MEAC All-Tournament Team.
Former MEAC Rookie of the Year Wells and current MEAC Rookie of the Year Bria Woodard also joined Cimone Woodard on the All-Tournament Team.
Over the past seven seasons, Howard Volleyball has won six MEAC tournaments. The 2021 title brings their all-time total to 13 and ties them with Florida A&M for the most in conference history.
The MEAC tournament win secured a spot in the NCAA D1 Volleyball Tournament for the Bison. The Bison play #9 Ohio State Friday, Dec. 3 in Columbus, OH.
Copy edited by Ashleigh Fields