Norfolk State University (9-14 overall, 5-5 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) took the second match of the season from Howard University, leaving the Lady Bison at .500 with a 5-5 MEAC conference record (5-21 overall). The Spartans took advantage of their senior night by beating the Lady Bison in four sets.

“Today just wasn’t our day; we need to refocus for Sunday’s match against Hampton,” said head Coach Dawn Barnes. “We blocked well tonight, but we needed to score in the other areas.”

After tribute was given to the seniors of both teams, the match in Joseph Echols Hall was ready to take flight with the Bison up to serve. Howard had NSU up with a win on their previous visit. Norfolk State capitalized on the Bison’s habits and took the first set 13-25.

At a point of refocus, the Lady Bison went back to the drawing board taking a 9-3 lead on the Spartans in the second set. Unable to stay poised and keep the lead, the Spartans fought their way up to tie the game at 11. Howard was unable to put a cap on the Spartan’s lead losing the second set 19-25.

Coming back from a ten minute recess, HU went full throttle and full speed ahead at the Spartans. It was a perfect game. Having a great lead on NSU, Howard loosened their grip allowing Norfolk to score a few more points before finishing the set 25-22.

With the determination of finishing out the match in five sets, the Lady Bison knew what was at stake. Momentum was high for Howard, but it caused premature unforced errors. NSU capitalized at the net and on defense. The final score was 14-25 with the Spartans out on top.

For the Lady Bison, Tosin Elebute finished with 12 kills and six digs. Taylor Johnson had a solid performance with nine kills, three service aces, five digs and three blocks. Gabrielle Martin put down six balls with four digs and two blocks. Stephanie Shultis finished with four kills, 11 assists and six digs. Jasmine King dished out 19 assists on the night.

For the Spartans, Charlotte Armstead put down 17 balls followed by Beatriz Ferreira with 11 kills. Adriana Ramos had ten kills and eight digs. Setter Kristen Burt put up 44 assists. Defensive Specialist Paige Gary-Canty finished with 11 digs along with Tracey Copley with 17 digs.

Howard out-blocked NSU 6.5 blocks to 6.0, but Norfolk put more balls to the floor.

The Lady Bison look ahead to their next match versus Hampton University Sunday in Virginia at 3 p.m. Howard needs this win in order secure a spot in the upcoming MEAC Tournament.

 

Jasmine King

Special to the AFRO