By: Maya Dawson, Sports Editor
Norfolk State University hosted the Delaware State Hornets for the second game of a four-game home stretch to end the season. Delaware State (10-17, 5-7 MEAC) won in their last meeting winning in four sets 3-1. The Spartans hoped to get a win against the Hornets but fell short when they battled their way back in the 5th set 15-10.
The sets were 23-25, 25-16, 14-25, 18-25 and finally 15-10 with the Hornets winning 3-2 over the Spartans. The Spartans played very well to get back into this game, but fell a little short of the win.
The first set was close and came down to the wire. Anna Rupertova, Jannel Ezeagwu, and Bojanna Bolozan each had a kill down the stretch but they still couldn’t close the set and lost 23-25, which was the closest set all game.
Coming into the second set we couldn’t find our rhythm with the second set being our worst. We had a hitting percentage of 0.069 with only 7 kills. We also 5 errors in that set alone. The Hornets went on a 15-4 run to end the second set off of 7 kills. They also had 4 aces in that set as well, with Ryanna Burnett and Jasmal Cruz each having two.
The Spartans were then down two sets to none and that’s when everything changed.
When asked what she said to encourage the players going into the third set, Coach Kathy Bullock said, “We just had a conversation. I mean I told the girls that we are at home. We need to represent the Green and Gold and just come out fired up. It’s the best 3 out of 5. Come out with some intensity and play the game like we know how to play.”
They came in to the third set on fire winning it 25-14. They were unstoppable hitting a best 0.577 with 16 kills total with just 1 error. There was nothing that was going to stop the Spartans from winning that set. Nobody could get in their way.
They were really poised and didn’t waiver under the pressure. They started the set on 9-3 run with Anna Rupertova and Bojanna Bolozan leading the charge and didn’t look back. They played with composure allowing them to win the set and move onto the fourth set.
“I think the offense was boom! I mean the girls actually bought in which will be great for the future of the program.” said Coach Bullock.
After winning the third set they still had to win the fourth set or face elimination. With the Spartans down 6-10 they went on a 9-0 run with Makenzy Johnson setting up Anna Rupertova who was just murdering them.
Rupertova had four kills in that run which allowed the Spartans to get a lead and keep it allowing them to take the fourth set 24-17.
It was now down to the fifth set; winner takes all. Rupertova kept it up for the Spartans having 3 kills in the beginning of the set. It was a back and forth match but then the Spartans lost their rhythm.
The Hornets went on a 7-2 run to finish off the Spartans hopes off coming back.
Rupertova for the Spartans was amazing. She had a career high in kills with 17 to go along with a season high of 10 digs. She was everywhere tonight and seemed to keep the Spartans hopes up.
“It was amazing. Anna has been turning up the last two matches, so very excited about her over the next two matches. She just decided that she was going to give everything she has to be able to finish as she needs to finish as a senior. She did a great job today.” coach Kathy Bullock said about Anna Rupertova’s impact on the game.
The leaders for the Hornets were Ryanne Burnett, Jordan Vang, Sydney Lewis who each had eleven kills.
Although the Spartans lost they stilled played with an intensity so great that nothing could have stopped their charisma. The Spartans are now 1-22, 1-12 MEAC.