DOVER, Del. – The Norfolk State volleyball team won its third match in a row, making quick work of Delaware State on Sunday afternoon in a 3-0 conference victory at DSU’s Memorial Hall.
The Spartans hit a season-best .393 with just eight attack errors while forcing DSU into 23. That helped NSU win by scores of 25-16, 25-18 and 25-18.
The victory improved their record to 6-13 overall and 4-2 in the MEAC. The Spartans earned their first three-match win streak in four years. At the same time, they kept the Hornets winless on the year at 0-21 overall and 0-7 in conference play.
Senior Jessica Johnson and junior Clarke Tyler did much of the heavy lifting for the Spartan offense. Johnson led the team with 13 kills while hitting .458 with five digs and three blocks. Tyler had eight kills, hitting .538 in the process, with four blocks, three digs and a pair of service aces.
Freshman Jill Aquino helped NSU build early leads in all three sets thanks to her serve. The Spartans were up by four early when they won six in a row behind Aquino and three kills from Tyler. NSU led 12-3 at that point and was up by as much as 10 at 22-12 before DSU won four in a row. A kill from junior Hope Forsythe and two straight errors on the Hornets finished the set.
Aquino again served six straight times as NSU eventually started the second set up 9-2. The Hornets did fight back, using a 4-0 run to force a Spartan timeout. Norfolk State still led by three at 18-15 after DSU had won three straight, this after the Spartans had finished a 4-1 run.
Tyler had two straight aces to help her squad begin to close out the middle stanza.
Aquino’s serve came at just the right time in the third set because DSU actually won six of the first eight points. But the NSU freshman served seven straight times, part of a 13-2 run that pushed the Spartans’ lead to 15-8. In between two 4-0 spurts for DSU, NSU won six of eight points to keep the lead at seven.
The lead was only 21-18 after that second Hornet 4-0 run, but Tyler had a kill and two blocks when NSU won the last four points of the match. Johnson had six of her 13 kills in the final set.
Aquino added 26 assists and four service aces, half of the team’s total of eight. Forsythe and senior Dominique Parker each had four kills on just 13 attacks combined between the two.
Junior Melvina Brown led all players with nine kills, helping NSU finish with a 28-20 advantage for the match.
Sabina Szmajduch had 14 kills and four service aces for the Hornets. DSU hit .070 for the match.
The Spartans return home to face Coppin State next Friday, followed by Morgan State on Sunday, with both matches set to be played in Gill Gymnasium.
Originally published at nsuspartans.com