Courtesy: Hampton Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. – They say in rivalry contests you can always throw the records out. The 2021 Battle of the Bay volleyball match was no exception on Tuesday night.
Clara Smith had 16 kills, the last of which set up match point for Hampton to lead three in double figures as the Lady Pirates defeated Norfolk State 25-19, 25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 20-18 in front of 452 at Gill Gymnasium on the NSU campus.
The win was the first for new head coach Sonja Maksimovic and came with a wild fifth set that saw 12 ties and five lead changes. Hampton held the largest lead of the final set at 6-3 after a Gabby Calloway kill. Norfolk evened the match at seven following a Shonte Seal kill which was the first of 10 ties in the final 13 points.
Both teams had chances to win in the final stages as the teams were tied at 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. Smith smashed Hampton to a 19-18 lead following her 16th kill of the night and Hampton clinched the win after an attack error by the Spartans for the final point.
Hampton used an 8-3 run midway in the first set to gain a 14-9 lead after an attack error by NSU. The Spartans got to within two points on a couple of occasions, but Hampton regained its five point advantage and won the opening set 25-19 after an Isis Black kill.
In the second, Hampton held the lead throughout as they were up as much as nine points after a service error to lead 20-11. Norfolk State cut the lead in half, but the Lady Pirates used a Smith kill to take set two 25-20.
Alyah Barkley had 15 kills and five digs, while Calloway added 13 kills and nine digs and Brooke Irvin had 53 assists. Jessica Pugh recorded 26 digs with Ana Baruh Krstic and Irvin next with 13. Leanna Caldwell had four service aces and added seven digs.
Norfolk State took sets three and four without giving up the lead to set up the wild fifth set.
Hampton volleyball (1-3) is now off until September 10 when they travel to William & Mary for a 6pm match