The 2022-2023 Howard Women’s volleyball team’s mentality is “all gas no breaks,” as they look to continue on with their success from last season. Their 2-0 start to the year shows they are as hungry as ever, after their 2021 season unfortunately ended after being swept by Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament. With a new season underway, the Bison have their eyes set on nothing less than a national championship.
Howard opened their season with a 3-1 victory over the George Mason Patriots on Aug. 26. They started the match with a loss in the first set, but proceeded to sweep the Patriots over the next three. The Bison dominated in the third set with a 25-6 defeat. Senior setter Kayla Diaz had an impressive 47 assists in the game. These assists by Diaz allowed the Bison to have more offensive efficiency, as evidenced by the 14 kills by freshman outside hitter Rya McKinnon, bringing Howard’s total to 56 for the game. On the defensive end, senior middle blocker Tamar Wells led the Bison with two blocks, while senior libero Essence Bell had a team-high 20 digs.
The Bison followed up this win with a commanding 3-0 victory over the Georgetown Hoyas. Howard outscored Georgetown 75-50 in the three sets, averaging a point differential of 8.3 points/set. Senior Kayla Diaz lit up the stat sheet with 31 assists, and senior teammate Bell once again led the team in digs with 16 against the Hoyas. Senior blocker Wells also added three blocks to her total, and was assisted by junior outside hitter Jennifer Bolden and sophomore middle blocker Simone Woodard, who each registered two blocks against Georgetown. Freshman hitter McKinnon also had another impressive showing, logging a team-high 13 kills and seven digs. McKinnon was named the MEAC Rookie of the Week for her performances against the Hoyas and Patriots. The Howard freshman is currently hitting .356, leading the team in kills and points.
The Bison aimed to continue their win streak against Tulane University on Sept. 2.
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee