Hawks repeat as MEAC volleyball tourney champs
BALTIMORE – (Nov. 19. 2012) – The UMES women’s volleyball team is the 2012 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament champion for the second year in a row.
A tense, five-set victory over Florida A&M Sunday afternoon earned the Lady Hawks another automatic invitation to the NCAA tournament.
"As a senior, you always wonder if this is the last time you'll be out there," first-team All-MEAC performer Ndidi Ibe said after the match, "but it was a great feeling to be out there and win it."
In a scenario identical to a year ago, Saitaua Iosia delivered a championship-winning kill – her 25th of the 2012 title match – to seal the win.
By sweeping the tournament held at Coppin State, UMES improved its 2012 season record to 28-5, the most victories a volleyball team has had in a season since 2003 when the Hawks went 26-12.
Iosia earned Most Outstanding Performer honors after recording 60 kills, 10 aces and 32 digs during the title run. It was the sophomore’s second “MOP” award.
She overcame an early season knee injury that threatened to sideline her from MEAC play.
"I was told I wasn't going to play this season," Iosia said, "I was devastated, and [when I learned I would play] it was a big motivation, and it was great to be out there."
Joining Iosia on the all-tournament team was her classmate, Victoria Williams, who delivered15 kills against FAMU and a total of 48 during the tournament for a .513 hitting percentage.
"[Victoria] is a fantastic player,” head coach Don Metil said, “And we needed her to be successful this weekend, and she did. We had more than one Most Outstanding Player."
Metil was named the Most Outstanding Coach in the 2012 tournament after leading UMES to its second straight MEAC Championship.
UMES came into the championship match perfect in five-set matches this year, something that Metil relayed to his team before the tiebreaker set.
"The girls believe, no matter what," Metil said. "In years past, I have had teams that get down, but this team adapted quickly."
This abbreviated report was compiled with the help of the UMES athletics department. For a more detailed version, visit the UMES athletics site.