Braves open season with contests in “Bash in The Boro”

Published 1:26 pm Thursday, August 25, 2022

LORMAN – Alcorn State Volleyball opens its 2022 season this weekend, as the Braves travel to participate in the Bash In The Boro event hosted by Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Georgia. The event takes place Friday, Aug. 26, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 27.

Under the direction of Melissa Robinson, set to begin her fourth season at the helm in Lorman, the Braves will meet teams from Stetson and USC Upstate, in addition to host Georgia Southern.

Alcorn State begins play Friday, Aug. 26, taking on USC Upstate at 4 p.m. (ET). The following day, the Braves play the Eagles of Georgia Southern at 12:30 p.m. (ET), with the match set to be streamed live via ESPN+. The Purple and Gold close the weekend against Stetson at 3 p.m. (ET).

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Live stats and links to streamed matches are available through the tournament central webpage which can be accessed here. Tickets for the Bash In The Boro event can also be purchased through the GSU athletics website available here.

Alcorn enters the season welcoming nine newcomers to the program, including graduate transfer Jodorrian Taylor from Virginia State, as well as Lauren Tishkoff from Navarro College. In all, Robinson’s squad boasts seven freshman on this year’s roster. The team also welcomes back four letterwinners from a season ago.

Just recently, redshirt senior outside hitter Mikenzie Young-Mullins was voted to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Preseason Second Team. The Duncan, South Carolina native was a member of the 2020-21 SWAC All-Tournament Team, in addition to being named 2020-21 SWAC Newcomer of the Year. That same season, the James F. Byrnes High alum made her way onto the All-SWAC Second Team. Last season, Young-Mullins started all 28 matches in which she appeared, leading the Braves squad and finishing fourth in the SWAC for points (351), averaging 3.55 points per set across the season. In all, she tallied 303 kills, allowing her to finish third in the league for that category, averaging 3.06 kills per set. Her 270 digs was good enough to finish second on the Braves roster with an average of 2.73 digs per set as well.

Also back for the Braves is senior outside hitter Jeda Curry, a 2020-21 Preseason All-SWAC Second Team member in her own right. In 2021, Curry played in 42 sets, ending the season with 91 points (fourth-highest on the team). She averaged 2.17 points per set, while registering 82 kills (1.95 kills/set) and 33 digs (0.79 digs/set).

Joining Curry as returning players are junior outside hitter Makayla Wardlaw and junior middle blocker Faith Archibong.

Wardlaw, a Park Crossing High product in Montgomery, Alabama, played in 27 matches as a sophomore, averaging 2.50 points per set on 230 points overall. She registered a team third-highest 201 kills (2.18 kills/set) on 664 total attempts. She would finish the year tied for second on the team with 20 service aces, and placed herself fourth on the team with 160 digs (1.74 digs/set). As for Archibong, the transfer from Colorado-Colorado Springs saw action in 28 matches in her first season with the Purple and Gold, amassing 240 points (2.42 points/set) and finishing with a team third-most 202 kills, while going on to tally a team-high 48 blocks (14 solo / 34 assisted).

As a team in 2021, Alcorn began the season playing fierce competition that would only help when entering conference play. Robinson’s team took part in three tournaments to begin the year, traveling to compete in each of the UNO Tournament (hosted by the University of New Orleans), the Belmont/Middle Tennessee Invitational and the Georgia State Tournament, respectively.

The Braves earned their first SWAC win of the campaign courtesy a 3-0 decision at home to Prairie View A&M in closing out the month of September, as well as finishing the month of October with back-to-back league triumphs against instate foe Mississippi Valley State and Alabama A&M at the second SWAC Cluster of the year.