The last time Burr Gymnasium at Howard University was refurbished, the Morgan State volleyball team spoiled the reopening, beating the Lady bison 3-1 on Oct. 6, 2006.

This year, when the Morgan State Lady Bears returned to action with a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) North Division match on Oct. 16 – at a newly renovated Burr Gymnasium – the outcome was decidedly different.

The host Lady Bison defeated Morgan State 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 26-24, 29-31,15-7), the fourth straight defeat this season for the Lady Bears and their third consecutive conference loss.

Howard’s win was also its sixth over the Lady Bears in the last seven meetings.
Howard’s Tosin Elebute notched a match-high 28 of the Lady Bison’s 54 kills and added a match-high 15 digs to record a double-double and Jasmine Tipton added 14 digs to help Howard win its home opener.

Jasmine King and Stephanie Shultis finished with 30 and 19 assists, respectively, for the Lady Bison, who improved to 4-18, 3-2 MEAC.

After taking the first set 25-22, Morgan State (3-17, 1-3 MEAC) then dropped the next two sets. Trailing 2-1 after three sets, the visiting Lady Bears regrouped in the fourth to claim a 31-29 victory. Down 29-28, Morgan State’s Kierra Outlin evened the score at 29 all with a kill. An attack error by Elebute, followed by a kill from Ngebui (Natalie) Chafeh gave the Lady Bears the win and set up a fifth set.

Morgan State jumped out 2-0, before the host Lady Bison countered with a 5-0 run. Howard’s lead would grow to 8-4 when the two teams switched sides. From there it was all Howard, as it increased its cushion to 12-5 on a Gabrielle Martin kill en route to a 15-7 set victory.

Morgan State was led by Outlin, who tallied a team-high 13 kills and had nine digs. Erin Cox, who hadn’t recorded a kill in the previous six matches since taking over as the team’s libero, returned to her outside hitter position this evening and recorded 10 kills, eight digs and led the team with four service aces. It was her first kills in nearly a month since recording five against Temple on Sept. 17. Ashley Johnson and Janelle Wilson each added nine kills, while Chafeh chipped in with eight kills and a match-high hitting percentage of .545. Chafeh also had a match-high 32 assists, nine digs and two blocks. Kylin Ellison tallied a team-high 12 digs and had five assists.
Morgan State will host cross-town rival Coppin State on Oct. 21, followed by another home contest against fellow MEAC opponent Norfolk State on Oct. 23.


Kevin Paige

Special to the AFRO