WASHINGTON – Howard University women’s volleyball team grabbed its first home win of the season after knocking off Rutgers in four sets (25-22, 25-17, 15-25, 25-19) inside Burr Gymnasium.
With the victory, HU snapped its six-match slide while securing its first win over a Big Ten foe.
“Our team put together a solid performance today,” said Howard women’s volleyball head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “Our setters did a great job spreading the offense around and our hitters were efficient. Now, we have to look for some consistency heading into tomorrow [at Georgetown].”
Overall, Howard registered a .301 hitting percentage on the day. Freshman Tamar Wells (Apopka, Fla.) led the charge, posting a .526 hitting percentage with 12 kills and a match-high seven blocks (four solo).
Freshmen setters Semira Blair (Fort Worth, Texas) and Kayla Diaz (Nanuet, N.Y.) tallied 42 combined assists.
HU opened the first set trailing as much as five, 11-6, until the Bison tallied four consecutive kills to slice the margin down to one, 11-10. After both squads were deadlocked at 18 until back-to-back kills from Wells created enough separation to secure the first game in favor of Howard.
Set two saw Rutgers unable to keep the ball in play, recording 12 unforced errors (11 hitting and one service). As a result, Howard kept the pressure on and delivered seven blocks in the game, led by Wells with four blocks (two solo), and won the second set.
Rutgers rebounded and won set three, recording a .556 hitting percentage with no errors.
In game four, HU regained control of the match after delivering 17 kills. Both clubs were tied at 15 until the Bison scored five straight points, forcing the Scarlett Knights to take a timeout, 20-15. After the short intermission, Howard scored its final five points on kills.
Four Bison recorded double-digit kills, led by redshirt sophomore Marcelle Butler (Canton, Ga.) with a team-best 13 kills.
Juniors Myca Mitchell (Clovis, Calif.) and Jurnee Tipton (Ypsilanti, Mich.) combined for 22 kills and 16 digs while follow classmate Fola Wilson (Minneapolis) produced a match-high 15 digs in the victory.
For Rutgers, Nastya Kudryashova led the Scarlett Knights with 14 kills in the loss.