GREENSBORO, N.C. – A strong start and a 2-0 lead evaporated for the Norfolk State volleyball team in a matchup with Alabama State on Saturday morning. But after the Hornets dominated the next two sets, the Spartans responded with a victory in the fifth to earn their first win of the season.
The victory certainly looked as if it would come a lot sooner than it did, as the Spartans jumped on Alabama State by winning the first two sets, 25-17 and 25-18. The Hornets came out of the break and easily handled NSU in the next two, 25-14 and 25-11. NSU, though, was able to build a four-point lead in the fifth set and hold off a Hornet rally in a 15-13 win.
The contest was played at UNCG’s Fleming Gymnasium as part of the Spartan-Aggie Invitational.
The Spartans of NSU improved their overall record this year to 1-7 while simultaneously dropped Alabama State to 3-6.
A pair of sophomores had big days for NSU. Hope Forsythe led the Spartans with 13 kills on a .348 attack percentage to go along with six digs and two blocks. Clarke Tyler hit .269 and totaled 10 kills and a career-high seven blocks. The Spartans, though, hit just .064, compared to .211 for the Hornets.
Kills by Forsythe and senior Angie Darcus helped NSU build a 5-2 lead to start the match. Senior Janay Frazier had a pair of kills, and Tyler had a hand in two blocks as the lead extended to 13-7. Still ahead by four at 17-13, NSU won six straight points, thanks in part to a kill and two more blocks by Tyler. She then added one last kill to finish the set.
The Spartans found themselves down by three early in the second set, but a 10-7 deficit turned into a 12-11 lead after NSU won five of the next six points. Senior setter Darcy Moore capped it with a service ace, but the Hornets called timeout a few serves later and then tied it up at 14-all. The Spartans began to pull away from there, winning four straight and 10 of the last 13 points of the set. Darcus had three kills during that time and gave NSU its 25th and last point of the stanza with a service ace.
NSU had 11 service aces in the match.
The Hornets used two big runs to win the third set. Back-to-back kills by Darcus and Tyler tied the score early on, but Alabama State won seven straight for a 12-5 lead. NSU then responded by winning six straight, with Frazier adding a pair of service aces during that spurt. However, a large 11-0 run by Alabama State forced NSU to move on to the fourth set.
There, Alabama State won 10 of the first 11 points and went ahead by a 17-3 score. The Hornets also added another 6-1 run before the set came to a close.
They also won the first three points of the fifth set before the Spartans, in desperate need of some good news, came back to win the next four. Junior Dominique Parker had a kill and service ace to begin a 5-1 run that ended with the Spartans up 9-5 and the Hornets calling timeout.
Eventually the Spartans called timeout after Alabama State was able to knot the score at 11-11. Tied again at 12-12, Forsythe had three kills over the last four serves to give NSU its first win in 2015.
Darcus finished with eight kills, while junior libero Alex Irizarry had a team-best 15 digs.
Alabama State outblocked NSU, 15-7. Rachel Smith had 14 kills and 12 digs to pace the Hornets. Myla Marshall also led them with eight blocks.
NSU will make a trip across Greensboro to play a matchup at North Carolina A&T at 7 tonight.
Originally posted on NSUSpartans.com | Used with Permission