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Howard Volleyball Looking To Re-Establish Themselves After Tough Losses

 Photo courtesy of Franklin Mitchell III.

After a 2-0 start to the season, the Howard women’s volleyball team is in the midst of a losing streak after dropping three straight games.

The Bison started off the 2022 season hot with dominating victories against the Georgetown Hoyas and George Mason Patriots. However, since then, the team has been caught in a rut. The Bison left the Green Wave Classic, a weekend-long set of volleyball matches hosted by Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, with consecutive losses. 

The first defeat was a 1-3 loss against the Tulane Green Wave. Until this game, one of Howard’s biggest offensive strengths was their advantage in kills. However, they were outmatched in that area against Tulane, totaling 44 kills versus 52 by Tulane. Former Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) Rookie of the Week, Rya Mckinnon, took a dip in production from her previous performance, recording just one assist and seven digs while logging one point and zero kills in the contest. 

Howard suffered their second defeat of the classic at the hands of the Ohio University Bobcats, with a final score of 1-3. Senior setter Kayla Diaz continued compiling assists for the season, adding 36 against Ohio. Sadly, Howard’s offensive struggles continued, as Ohio’s defense smothered in the front court, producing ten block assists and two solo blocks. Freshman hitter McKinnon had another below-average performance, logging just two digs and zero points. 

The Bison proceeded to battle it out in a 2-3 loss against the Kansas City Roos to conclude their weekend in New Orleans. Statistically, Howard matched up well with the Roos. They logged more kills, digs and aces than the Roos, while trailing closely in points and assists. The story of the game was the errors, as Howard committed twice as many as the Roos. Sophomore middle blocker Cimone Woodard discussed with The Hilltop how these errors were a detriment for the Bison.

“I think we really need to work on consistency when the ball is in our hands,” Woodard said. “If we can minimize the attacking errors, then I think we’ll begin to see a huge improvement in our results.”

It was certainly a rough week for the women’s volleyball team. However, Woodard believes these losses are not going to intimidate the Bison.

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“It was frustrating to leave 0-3,” Woodard continued. “But I hope we can turn it around this weekend and beat the teams at this tournament in Connecticut. I think our serve receive did amazing, and I hope we can keep that up throughout the season. It’s one of the most important parts of the game.”

The Bison are using these losses as motivation moving forward. At 2-3, Howard is still second in the MEAC standings behind Delaware State (5-2). They will gear up for their upcoming matchups from Sept. 9-11 in Fairfield, CT,  heading down to the Fairfield Invitational with a determination to climb back to the top of the MEAC.

Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee

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