Howard Volleyball Falls Short on First Day at Pitt Invite
By Julee' O'Neal, W. Basketball, Broadcast Journalism Major '13
The Howard women's volleyball team (0-2) started its 2011 schedule with two games in the two-day Pittsburgh Panther Invitational at the Fitzgerald Field House. Howard fell to the host University of Pittsburgh (1-0) in the first and to Eastern Kentucky (1-1) in the second game.
"We had first game jitters and started off playing nervous; we didn't come out as strong as we should have," said Howard second year head coach Dawn Barnes. "It was just mental. We will learn from the mistakes we made today and come out better tomorrow."
Barnes, a former assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, was eager to compete in the tournament and felt this was a great opportunity for Howard volleyball.
"It was great to be back, (Pittsburgh). (It) was very welcoming. They complemented the Lady Bison's efforts on how much potential they have," said Barnes.
In the first matchup against the Panthers, the Lady Bison were swept 3-0. The set scores were 7-25, 18-25 and 20-25. Each game the Bison showed improvement.
Senior blocker Elebute had an outstanding performance, leading the team in kills with nine while recording 13 digs. Cain finished with 18 digs and freshman Shultis assisted on 11 of 23 kills.
The Panthers' offense stayed consistent with leaders such as Brenea White who recorded six-out of-eight kills, giving her a .750 kill percentage, Alex Phillips with eight-out of-12 (.667) kill percentage and Monica Wignot who led her team with 12 kills. Lindsey Zitzke contributed by assisting on 30-of-36 kills while adding nine digs.
Later that evening, Howard faced Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels concluded the game with a 3-1 defeat over the Bison. The set scores were 25-9, 23-25, 25-16 and 25-15.
Elebute came up big again, leading the Lady Bison with 13 kills and eight digs. Shultis also chipped in with seven kills and 13 assists.
Hannah Burkle led Eastern Kentucky in kills, getting 17 and Ashley Edmond pitched in with nine kills and a game-high 14 digs. Abbey Cvelbar assisted on 34-of-45 kills.
"I was very pleased with my freshmen; they played well in their first (Division 1) college game," said Coach Barnes. "We just have to refocus and come out stronger."
The Lady Bison will continue play when they face St. Francis (Pa.) at 11 a.m. on August 27.