Written by Nic Fraraccio // Photo provided by Madison Meyer
The Lady Bisons will open their season today with the hope of producing another successful season.
The Harding volleyball team is coming off a historic 2022 season. The team posted a 28-match winning streak, breaking the previous record of 17 accomplished twice, first in 2002 and again in 2005. The Lady Bisons won their third conference title after posting an undefeated conference record and finished the season with an overall record of 30-2.
Harding’s success was rewarded throughout the entire season. Head Coach Meredith Fear took home her third Great American Conference (GAC) Coach of the Year award, senior Kelli McKinnon was named GAC Player of the Year and senior Sarah Morehead was named GAC Setter of the Year.
As the new season approaches, Fear said the team has not become complacent during their preseason training.
“They’re still really hungry to get better and improve,” Fear said. “They do a really great job of competing together and not against each other.”
The team chemistry has continued to grow during preparation for the 2023 season. Fifth-year senior Libby Hinton said the team support sets Harding apart from the competition.
“I personally have never played on a team with this much team chemistry,” Hinton said. “We truly just want the best for each other.”
Multiple key players will return from the record-breaking 2022 squad to defend their conference title, seven of whom are seniors and will be playing their final season as a Lady Bison: outside hitters Chloe Ingersoll and Logan Smith-Morgan, defensive specialists Emma Winiger and Grecia Soriano, middle blockers Libby Hinton and Kelli McKinnon and setter Sarah Morehead.
Ingersoll said the seniors are calling this season a “victory lap” after several years of hard work and dedication.
“I’m really excited to see how this chapter of our lives ends,” Ingersoll said.
Harding will begin the season with 14 games on the road before returning to the Rhodes-Reaves Field House Sept. 21 for their first home game of the season against Ouachita Baptist University.
As the excitement continues to build, Fear said she would love to see the student body support the team throughout the season.
“It’s an exciting, fast-paced game, and we really do our best to make the student body proud,” Fear said.
The Lady Bisons will begin their season today at the Texas-Tyler Invitational as they face off against St. Edward’s University and University of Montevallo.