Morgan State “Lady Bears” (2-1, 1-0 MEAC) vs. Howard “Lady Bison” (2-5, 1-4 MEAC)
Date: Monday, March 8, 2021
Site: Baltimore, Md. (Hill Field House)
Time: 6 p.m.
Series Record: Morgan State leads, 39-37
Websites: www.MorganStateBears.com | www.hubison.com
BALTIMORE, Md. (March 7, 2021)-The Morgan State Lady Bears return to the volleyball court for the first time since Feb.12, when they host Beltway rial Howard in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) match on Monday, March 8 at 6 p.m. at Hill Field House. The contest will be a make-up from the MEAC season opening series, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 11.
BEAR CLAWS: Morgan State (2-1, 1-0 MEAC), which is riding a two-match winning streak, has been idle since sweeping Howard in the MEAC opener in Baltimore (2/12). Tylar Roberson totaled a match-high 17 kills and had nine digs in the win. Roberson, who hit .342 for the match, also added a match-high three service aces and had an assist. Jada Bivins tallied a match-high 29 assists, five digs, two service aces and a block. Jennevy Santos had eight digs, four assists, two service aces and a kill, while Jourdan Page finished with seven kills. Kendal Hoges, who was making her Morgan debut, hit for .455 and finished with five kills on 11 attempts with no errors, two blocks and a dig. The Lady Bears have been led by Roberson, who is averaging a team-leading 3.45 kills per set, a team-high five service aces and 2.73 digs per set. Bivins is averaging a team-best 8.73 assists and is contributing 1.91 digs per set. Santos is totaling 4.00 digs per outing. Shadae Debraux leads the squad with six blocks, while Melanie Battle has totaled five blocks, including a team-high two solo blocks.
BISON HOOVES: Howard (2-4, 1-4 MEAC), losers of three straight, all to Coppin State, is coming off a 3-0 road loss to the Eagles (3/5). Jennifer Bolden had eight kills and Marcelle Butler finished with seven kills. Kayla Diaz totaled 21 assists and had three service aces. Kendall Smith and Amari Patterson each had a team-high five digs to lead the Lady Bison. Bolden leads Howard with 2.41 kills per set, while Amari Patterson has a team-leading 3.26 digs per set. Diaz has tallied a team-best 5.85 assist per set and Milexa Cardona is averaging 2.96 assists per outing.
MSU VS HU SERIES NOTES: Morgan State leads the all-time series against Howard, 39-37, after the Lady Bears won the season opener, 3-0 on Feb. 12. In 2019 the two split the regular season each winning on their home floor. Howard then defeated Morgan State in five sets in the 2019 MEAC title match.
NEXT UP: Morgan State is scheduled to host crosstown rival Coppin State Thursday-Friday, March 11-12) in a two-match MEAC series at Hill Field House. First serve is at 6 p.m. both days.
2020-21 HOME PROTOCOLS: The 2021 Spring season will begin without spectators in attendance at Hill Field House.
• The volleyball program will adhere to NCAA guidelines and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference policies and procedures, including COVID-19 testing protocols, while also operating in alignment with state and local public health officials.
• Hill Field House will operate with limited access only to include essential staff and personnel, including participating teams. Capacity restrictions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and adjusted as allowed as public health conditions and recommendations improve.
HOW TO WATCH MATCHES: All volleyball home matches will be video streamed for free through the MorganStateBears.com website. The latest broadcast and video stream information will always be listed on the volleyball schedule page at MorganStateBears.com.
ROBERSON RECEIVES SECOND MEAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior outside hitter Tylar Roberson was named MEAC Player of the Week (2/15). It was her second MEAC weekly honor this season for Roberson, who also earned the distinction (1/25). A native of Elkhart, Ind., Roberson finished with a match-high 17 kills and added nine digs, falling shy of her second double-double of the season. Roberson hit .342 for the match with just four errors in 38 total attacks and added a service ace.
HICIANO EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT MEAC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Gabriela Hiciano earned her second consecutive MEAC weekly honor when she was named MEAC Rookie of the Week (2/1). A week prior Hiciano earned MEAC Co-Rookie of the Week accolades (1/25). The Carolina, Puerto Rico native recorded her first collegiate double-double against George Washington (1/29). She tallied a team-high 11 kills and added 11 digs in the straight-set win over the Colonials. Hiciano finished the match with a hitting percentage of .286, while just committing three errors. She also added two blocks, including one solo.
BOZIER ONE WIN SHY OF 475: Morgan State head coach Ramona Riley-Bozier entered the 2021 Spring season three wins shy of career victory No. 475. Riley-Bozier, who is the all-time winningest coach at Morgan State in any sport with 474 career victories as the volleyball coach, is also the softball program’s all-time career leader with 161 victories in nine seasons at the helm.
PROTECTING HOME: Morgan State is riding a six-match home winning streak dating back to the 2019 season. The Lady Bears extended the streak to six straight this season, following back-to-back 3-0 victories over George Washington (1/29) in the home opener and against Howard (2/12) in the MEAC opener.
IT’S A FIRST: Morgan State’s season-opening win over George Washington (1/29) was the program’s first-ever over the Colonials. The Lady Bears entered the contest winless in the previous seven meetings, before earning a 3-0 victory.
NON-CONFERENCE SPLIT: The Lady Bears finished the non-conference slate with a 1-1 mark. After dropping a heartbreaking five-set match on the road at Temple in the season opener, Morgan State bounced back to defeat visiting George Washington (1/29) in three sets for its home opener.
ROBERSON NAMED MEAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Tylar Roberson was named MEAC Player of the Week (1/25). It was the first-ever MEAC Weekly honor for Roberson. Roberson earned a double-double with a team-high 15 kills and 10 digs in the season-opening five-set loss at Temple (1/23). A native of Elkhart, Ind., Roberson added two blocks and a service ace. It was the 14th career double-double for Roberson at Morgan State and her fourth straight dating back to last season.
HICIANO NAMED MEAC CO-ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Gabriela Hiciano was named MEAC Co-Rookie of the Week (1/25). Hiciano nearly recorded a double-double against Temple (1/23), finishing with 11 digs and nine kills in her collegiate debut. The Carolina, Puerto Rico native also tallied two service aces and assisted on a block.
MORGAN PICKED TIED FOR THIRD IN MEAC NORTH: Morgan State was picked to finish tied for third with Delaware State in the northern division of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) preseason poll, as voted by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. In 2019, the Lady Bears were picked to finish third and ended up going 18-13 overall, 10-5 in the MEAC for fourth and reaching the MEAC title match.
OPENING SERVE: Morgan State fell to 9-19 in season openers since the 1993 season, following last Friday’s 3-2 loss to Temple (1/23). Last season the Lady Bears defeated Seton Hall (8/30/19) to open the season. Prior to the Seton Hall victory, Morgan State had lost seven consecutive season-openers, and had last won on opening day in 2011 when they defeated Saint Peter’s 3-0 at the La Salle Invitational (8/26/11).
SPORTING A NEW LOGO: Morgan State will have a new uniform and apparel outfitter for the 2020-21 season, as the Lady Bears will now wear Baltimore based Under Armour. The partnership with Under Armour will allow Morgan State to provide Under Armour uniforms, apparel, gear and equipment for its complete roster of student-athletes, coaches, athletic department personnel and the campus community. The agreement with Under Armour will last for five years and the affiliation will debut with the first the first game of the season on Nov. 25 at Hill Field House.
BOZIER ENTERS 33RD SEASON: Morgan head coach Ramona Riley-Bozier enters her 33rd season at the helm of the Lady Bear program. The all-time winningest coach at MSU (474), Riley-Bozier guided the Lady Bears to 88 consecutive MEAC Northern Division wins between 1994-2003. She has led MSU to five MEAC Championships, three NCAA Tournament appearances and earned MEAC Coach of the Year honors five times. Bozier also coached the softball team at MSU for nine seasons and in 1999 led the team to its only MEAC title game appearance. A native of Kansas City, Mo., Bozier, is a graduate of MSU, where she was a two-sport start in volleyball and track. She is one of 11 players in the history of the program to have registered 1,000 career kills. On the track, Bozier was a three-time All-American and one of the top triple jumpers at Morgan. She still holds the UMBC meet record in the 60-meter dash (1983) and ran the first leg of the 4X100 relay, which in 1986 set the school record in a time of 44.47 seconds, which also still stands. That squad would also win the Penn Relays and finished second that year at the Division I National Championships. Bozier was inducted into the Morgan State Hall of Fame in 2003.
SANNY RETURNS HOME: Morgan State assistant coach Sanky Sanny returned home on Saturday, Jan. 23, when the Lady Bears visited Temple for their season-opener. He spent his collegiate career as a member of Temple’s men’s club team, helping the Owls earn their first Atlantic Collegiate Volleyball Conference title in 2015. Sanny would earn a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from Temple in 2017. Sanny joined the Morgan State coaching staff in 2019 after spending the previous two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, Pa., where he helped the team compile a combined 52-16 overall record and 33-5 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Last season he helped the Tigers to a 31-6 record and 18-1 in league play, as they captured the program’s first-ever CACC title and advanced to the NCAA Division II East Region championship match.
BATTLE RECEIVES McDONALD’S SCHOLARSHIP: Morgan State sophomore was one of 34 students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to receive McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship to continue their education. The fund helped students who attend HBCUs continue their education despite impacts of COVID-19. Battle’s winning essay landed her a $6,800 scholarship. In addition to the scholarships, McDonald’s also surprised each winner with a special delivery, which included a tablet, school supplies and a congratulatory video, featuring notable HBCU alumni.
WELCOME TO THE CAVE: Morgan State welcomes the addition of eight newcomers to the 2021 Spring squad, five freshman and three junior transfers. Those newcomers are freshmen: Londyn Coles (Canal Winchester, Ohio), Gabriela Hiciano (Carolina, Puerto Rico), Tyasia McDuffie (Columbia, Md.), Jourdan Page (Bowie, Md.) and Alyssa Sampson (Dayton, Ohio), along with junior transfers Jada Bivins (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Kendal Hoges (West Orange, N.J.) and Anaya Martin (Tyrone, Ga.).
MORGAN EARNS USMC/AVCA ACADEMIC AWARD: The Lady Bears volleyball program was honored as a recipient of the United State Marine Corps (USMC) and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2019-20 season. Morgan State, which received the award for the first time in program history, posted a team GPA of 3.48 for the academic year.
TOURNAMENT EXPOSURE: Morgan will face just one opponent this season (Howard) that reached the NCAA Volleyball Tournament in 2019. The Lady Bears will face the four-time defending MEAC champion Howard Lady Bison four times this season. The two will square off in Baltimore on Feb. 11-12 for the MEAC opening series, before closing out the season on March 18-19 in Washington, D.C.
2021 SPRING MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP: This year’s 2021 Spring MEAC Volleyball Championship will take place April 2-3 in Norfolk, Va. at Echols Hall on the campus of Norfolk State University.
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Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 126 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.