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Even though the Coppin State Volleyball team went 2-2 at the LaSalle Invitational in Philadelphia, held on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30, it was the victories during the first day of the tournament that made the mark for the Coppin State Lady Eagles.

With their 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-19) victory over New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 24-26, 25-17) victory over Loyola (Md.) at LaSalle’s Tom Gola Arena, the 2014 edition of the Lady Eagles was the first Coppin State team to ever win opening matches to start the season in the 27-year history of the program.

Coppin State head coach Ashley Preston wasn’t surprised with the continued achievements of this program. For Preston, the historic moments keep piling up in her third year at the helm. Coppin State advanced to the MEAC Tournament finals last season, a first for the program.

Cindy Okpegbue earned all-tournament honors for her performance in Philadelphia. The junior outside hitter pounded 79 kills in her four matches this past weekend, including 20 kills in both of her matches vs. NJIT and Loyola.

Okpegbue also collected her first double-double of the season with 20 kills and 19 digs against Loyola.

However, Coppin lost a pair of heartbreakers on Aug. 30 to host LaSalle, 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 25-21, 19-25, 15-13) and Manhattan, 3-2 (18-25, 13-25, 25-21, 25-22, 15-13).

Next for the Lady Eagles is a trip to Towson to participate in the Towson Invitational on Sept. 5 and Sept. 6, where they will face the host Tigers, St. Peter’s and have another shot at LaSalle.

Keith Henry

Special to the AFRO