PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The Norfolk State volleyball team saw its 2015 season come to a close with a 3-1 loss at UMES on Friday night at the H.P. Hytche Athletic Center.
The Hawks won commandingly in the second and fourth sets by scores of 25-7 and 25-11. NSU lost the first set by just two points, 25-23, but also took the third set by a 25-19 margin to prevent a UMES sweep.
The Spartans finished their season with a 3-9 MEAC record and a 4-21 overall mark. UMES improved to 22-6 overall and 9-3 in conference play, tied for second in the league standings with Morgan State. The Spartans ended the year tied for fifth in the MEAC North with Hampton.
Senior Angie Darcus led NSU in kills for the 19th match this season, as she hit .220 with 15 kills and eight digs against the Hawks. Junior Dominique Parker added nine kills and seven digs, while sophomore Clarke Tyler hit .353 with seven kills.
Lucia Babic (16 kills, .324 attack percentage, seven digs) and Zuzana Ondruskova (12 kills, eight digs, four service aces) led the way for the Hawks, who hit .312 as a team. The Spartans finished with a .128 attack percentage.
Parker scored the first two points of the match as the two squads went back and forth early on. The Spartans won eight of nine points during one stretch, jumping ahead by a 13-7 lead after a kill by Darcus. UMES made its comeback down 15-9, scoring five straight to get to within one.
The Spartans still held the advantage until Kirsten Fink’s kill tied it up at 19-19. Parker’s kill gave NSU the lead back, and a kill by Tyler still had the Spartans ahead, 22-21. After Darcus made it 23-22 with a kill of her own, the Hawks scored the last three points of the set, the last two on kills by Ondruskova, to take the early lead in the match.
After dropping the second set, NSU was able to take one from UMES in the third. The Spartans won four straight for an 8-5 lead, and NSU answered every time UMES attempted to tie the score. A kill by senior Janay Frazier and errors on the Hawks allowed NSU to maintain its three-point edge. The Spartans went up by four at 20-16 on a kill by Darcus, and Frazier had two kills when NSU won the last four points of the set for the six-point win.
The second and fourth sets, however, were not kind to Norfolk State. The second was all tied up at 5-5 after a kill by sophomore Hope Forsythe. The Hawks, though, went on a 16-1 run and outscored the Spartans 20-2 during the rest of the set. They also started the fourth set on a 12-1 run, extending the lead to as much as 18-3 later on. NSU won three straight and then five of six a short time later, but it was too little too late.
Andjela Reljic led all players with 17 digs to help UMES finish with a 58-50 edge for the match. The Hawks also outscored NSU 10-3 in service aces.
The contest also marked the last match for NSU’s three active seniors, Darcus, Frazier and Darcy Moore. The three, in addition toJessica Johnson, joined the Spartans as freshman in 2012 when NSU finished with its best record yet in Division I.
Moore had the most decorated career, finishing with NSU records for assists in a match (57), season (1,026) and career (3,195). She became the only NSU player to ever top 1,000 assists in a season and 3,000 in a career. She finished seventh all-time at NSU with 384 sets played, compiling 752 digs, 133 kills, 96 service aces and 32 blocks. Moore also ended her career seventh at NSU in digs and 13th in service aces. She ranked fifth in the MEAC the previous two years in assists per set and stood sixth in the league this year before Friday.
Darcus tallied 291 kills this year, the seventh-most by an NSU player. She compiled 547 kills during her four-year career, ranking her ninth all-time. In 254 sets, she also added 289 digs, 184 assists, 54 blocks and 35 service aces. Her assist total ranks her 15th in NSU records, and her 1,554 attacks places her 11th. She has been a regular member of the AD’s Honor Roll and the MEAC All-Academic Team. Darcus is one of eight players nationally with at least two triple-doubles in her career. She stood eighth in the league in kills and points per set heading into Friday.
Frazier played in 233 sets during her four years, posting totals of 368 kills, 227 digs, 51 blocks, 21 service aces and 18 assists. Like Darcus, Frazier also regularly appeared on the AD’s Honor Roll and the MEAC All-Academic Team. Frazier’s 165 digs this year were easily the most of her four-year career.