Morgan State volleyball nets NCAA tourney bid Bears end school's drought, become first team to qualify for Division I postseason

November 28, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

An impressive Morgan State volleyball march has become a national event and landed the team in the school record books.

The Bears have won 14 consecutive matches to become the first historically black college to ever qualify for the NCAA Division I volleyball tournament.

Also, Ramona Riley Bozier's squad will go down as the first Morgan team in any sport to advance to an NCAA Division I postseason tournament and it is the first time in 18 years a Bears team has made it to NCAA postseason play at any level, with the 1979 Morgan football team being the last to do it with a trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The other unprecedented Morgan accomplishments are: first time the volleyball team has appeared in the national rankings (10th in District 3), first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team to go to the Division I tournament, first conference school to win a Division I play-in match (15-5, 15-2, 15-8 over Grambling last Friday), and first time the volleyball team has won 14 straight matches.

The Bears will find out Sunday at 5: 30 p.m. when and where they will be playing their first match in the 56-team NCAA tournament.

All first-round matches will be played on the court of the higher-seeded teams from Dec. 4-7, meaning that Morgan will be on the road against a top team.

Some of the possibilities for Morgan's first-round opponent are Maryland, American and Virginia.

L Bozier said the recent accomplishments are "quite an honor."

"I'm thrilled for the program and institution," Bozier said. "It all represents a lot of hard work by a lot of people associated with Morgan and Morgan volleyball."

Lawler, Cline honored

UMBC junior soccer midfielder Ted Lawler and Retrievers junior outside volleyball hitter Lisa Cline have been honored as the Players of the Year in their respective sports in the Big South Conference.

Lawler (Oakland Mills), who was shifted from striker to midfield this season, scored five goals and assisted on two others and was known for his late-game heroics.

He had the game-winning goal in overtime against Coastal Carolina and scored a game-tying goal in an eventual loss at Charleston Southern.

Lawler missed all of 1996 with an injury and is now ninth on UMBC's all-time goals (21) and scoring list (54 points).

Cline walked off with the Big South Volleyball Player of the Year honors as she continues to have a superb career at UMBC. Cline was a first-team All-Big South selection her first two seasons before winning top honors this season.

Cline averaged 5.16 kills per game, which placed her 15th in the nation, and had 3.34 digs a game which was fifth in the league. She had a career-high 37 kills against UNC-Asheville and led UMBC to a 19-8 overall record entering the tournament.

Other UMBC men's soccer and volleyball players who gained All-Big South first-team honors were senior soccer defender Reggie Adubofuor and junior outside volleyball hitter Megan McNamara.

For the UMBC women's soccer team, three players were selected to the All-Big South first team.

They were senior defender Shannon Bagrosky (Howard), sophomore midfielder Theresa Rosbert (Edgewood) and freshman striker Erin Lesh (C. Milton Wright).

Hopper an All-American

Salisbury State junior forward Megan Hopper has gained first-team All-America honors on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association's 16-member squad.

Hopper led Salisbury and the Capital Athletic Conference in scoring this year with 19 goals and six assists for 44 points, had five game-winning goals this season and has a career total of 88 points.

Hopper ranks 10th on the all-time Salisbury career scoring list.

It is the 12th straight year that the Sea Gulls have had at least one player honored by the NFHCA on its first, second or third teams.

Two Salisbury State seniors, goalie Kristin Archer (North Harford) and forward Laura Getty, were selected second team All-America.

W. Maryland Hall of Fame

The late Susan Beeler, Hank Corrado, Leo Lathroum, Karen Merkle and Steve Wilson were inducted into the Western Maryland College Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 15 in ceremonies at the Decker College Center Forum.

Beeler introduced girls lacrosse at Towson High before being a standout field hockey and basketball player at Western Maryland; Corrado was a power running back on the 1946 football team; Lathroum excelled in football, basketball and baseball in 1950 and 1951; Merkle was a field hockey and tennis star in 1976; and Wilson was a four-year lettermen in track.

Pub Date: 11/28/97

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