PRINCESS ANNE, MD ---The Howard University women's volleyball team has captured the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship trophy after the Northern Division champion Bison defeated the Southern Division champ Bethune-Cookman University in straight sets (25-18, 25-18, 25-21). The Bison its eighth conference title and first since 1994.
Howard's 13th straight victory laid claim to the MEAC title and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, a first ever for the program. The 1994 team played in a NCAA Play-In game, falling in three sets to DMV area foe George Mason.
The title is also Howard's first MEAC championship since its softball team won the regular season & tournament titles in 2007.
Howard (18-13) was led by Tournament Outstanding Player & All-Tournament selection Khaila Donaldson. The sophomore outside hitter led the Bison in kills & digs in the match with a 17 kill-16 dig double-double, her 12th of the season. Freshman outside hitter Courtney Dalton, who was also named to the All-Tournament team, finished with 11 kills, five block assists and three digs. Dalton led Howard in kills (45), kills per set (4.50) and hitting percentage (.400, min. 10 kills) during HU's three-game run to the conference crown.
Junior libero Morgan Marlbrough had 15 digs as one of our four players with 10+ digs (Katherine Broussard/Tamia Dockery, 11). Her performance puts her at 483 digs for the season, breaking former Bison Allyson Lods' school record from 2013.
Dockery logged 22 assists and junior setter Briana Jackson added 16 while juniors Janaya Hampton & Dominique Cleggett once again controlled the middle, recording seven of the team's 14 block assists.
A season after winning the 2014 MEAC Coach of the Year award, fourth-year head coach Shaun Kupferberg was named Tournament Outstanding Coach after leading the Bison to its third straight winning season and the first NCAA Tournament appearance of his career.
Volleyball's championship marks an outstanding month for Howard Athletics, coming exactly two weeks after the Bison women's soccer team won its second straight Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship and earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid.
Bethune-Cookman, led by 2015 MEAC Coach of the Year & Howard Volleyball alum Brittany Williams, ended its season at 15-16.
Howard will learn its First Round opponent when the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship Selection Show airs on Sunday, November 29 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
2015 MEAC All-Tournament Team
Cindy Okpegbue - Coppin State
Carmen Fernandez - Morgan State
Arianna Hayden -Morgan State
Hazel Ortiz-Rosado - Bethune-Cookman
Delicia Pierre - Bethune-Cookman
Courtney Dalton - Howard
Khaila Donaldson - Howard
Outstanding Performer: Khaila Donaldson, Howard
Outstanding Coach: Shaun Kupferberg, Howard