Coppin women end 129-match drought Volleyball team tops UMES for first victory since '93

November 04, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

As Coppin State women's volleyball coach Stephanie Ready recalled, her team saw last night's regular-season finale against Maryland-Eastern Shore as a case of now or never.

The Eagles, mired in a 129-match losing streak, chose now and beat UMES in a seemingly interminable, two-hour contest, 15-8, 8-15, 8-15, 16-14, 23-21, at the Coppin Center, the cheering section of 207 spilling onto the court immediately afterward.

"It took long enough, but we got it," Ready said after the team's first win since Oct. 19, 1993, against Wilson College.

Coppin (1-23, 1-9) came into the game confident, having played the Hawks close in a previous match in Princess Anne. But up 4-2 in the second game, the team unraveled as its captain, Sharine Ward reinjured an ankle.

The Eagles regrouped and in the final game, there were eight match points between the two teams before Candice Johnson's serve with Coppin up 22-21 hit off the left side of an Eastern Shore defender and went out of bounds.

Johnson, a freshman from City College, had 16 kills for Coppin.

"Candice and Mary [Appah] were amazing," Ready said. "You would have never known that they were freshmen."

Despite the drought, Ready said she wasn't surprised by the victory.

"I've been expecting this for a long time," she said.

Pub Date: 11/04/98

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