Although Howard University’s nickname is the Bisons, the GW volleyball team was the one stampeding through the Burr Gymnasium Tuesday night.
The Colonials won across town on the Lady Bison’s turf with the scores 30-18, 30-18, 30-16 in an hour and 18 minutes.
“We just played better as a team,” coach Jojit Coronel said. Every member of the team played in the match and Coronel applauded everyone saying, “The people who stepped in kept up the energy.” Of the 16 players on the roster, 11 recorded kills during the match.
Senior outside hitter Lindsey Vernand led the Colonials with 10 kills on 15 attacks, hitting .533 for the night. The Colonials (7-10, 1-3 Atlantic 10) hit .302 as a team, compared to just a .063 average for Howard. Junior setter Kaimana Lee had 30 assists for the Colonials while the Lady Bison registered just 29 total assists on the night. Junior outside hitter Juliene McLaughlin also added nine kills for the offense and nine digs on defense, tied for the most on the Colonials with senior captain and libero Jessica Vesey.
The Colonials wrapped up the first game of the match quickly after the Lady Bison kept it close in the first minutes. Howard fell farther and farther behind by several three-point runs by GW, supported by the Lady Bison’s errors. A McLaughlin kill put the game away 30-18.
In the second game the teams were tied as late as 9-9 before freshman outside hitter Jennie Leftwich’s ace and two errors by the Lady Bison put GW up 12-9. The Colonials’ kills and Lady Bison’s errors continued adding up during a 16-5 run eventually giving GW its second 30-18.
The Colonials got off to a fast start in the third game with a kill by senior middle hitter Shannon Parks to put GW up 1-0. Scoring was close and back and forth until GW led 10-7 and began a run of seven consecutive points, which included kills by junior middle hitter Kelly Kabbes and Parks.
The win Tuesday was the Colonials’ 12th in a row against the Lady Bison of the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference. GW has not lost a volleyball match to Howard since 1977. This victory comes just days after the Colonials lost their 13th straight game to A-10 archenemy Temple.
Following GW’s 3-0 loss to visiting Temple last Saturday, Coronel said he and the team were glad to get back into their winning ways.
GW hosts A-10 newcomer Saint Louis Friday at 7 p.m. at the Smith Center. The Colonials continue A-10 play against Duquesne Sunday at noon at the Smith Center.