Dover, Del. (Nov. 17, 2019) --- Delaware State’s bid for a first MEAC Volleyball Tournament appearance in nine years ended in disappointment today. The Hornets lost three close sets to Morgan State (26-24, 25-22 and 25-21) in their regular season finale this afternoon to fall short of qualifying for the conference championship tournament for the first time since 2010.
The top four teams in the MEAC’s northern and southern divisions qualify for the tourney.
DSU was tied with Maryland-Eastern Shore and Coppin State for third place in the North standings with 7-7 division records entering today’s action.
Coppin State defeated MDES 3-0 in each team’s regular season finale today to take third place in the division standings. Delaware State is tied with Maryland-Eastern Shore for fourth place, although the Hawks hold the tie-breaker by virtue of sweeping two regular season matches against the Hornets.
In today’s match, Morgan State’s Zoe McBride led all players with 16 kills and 14 digs. Setter Roi Wallace had a match-high 40 assists in the contest.
Mayah Ngundam (jr.) was tops for Delaware State with 10 kills, while Freja Gortz (fr.) tallied 39 assists to lead the Hornets and Jasmal Cruz (fr.) had a team-high 11 digs.
In the first set, Morgan State led 11-5 in the early going, but the Hornets used a 13-3 run to take control. The run ended with DSU holding an 18-14 lead after a Morgan State error.
The Bears responded by scoring nine of the next 14 points and tied the set at 23-23 on a kill by McBride.
The score was 24-24 when Morgan State tallied the last two points to take the opening set.
Morgan State was in control early in the second set, opening up an 18-10 lead on a block by McBride and Shadae Debraux.
Delaware State answered with an 11-4 rally and pulled to within 22-21 on an error by the Bears. The Hornets trailed 23-22 before the Bears again tallied the last two points to open up a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set, the Hornets opened up an 11-7 lead after a kill by Ngundam. Delaware State was ahead 18-16, but allowed nine of the last 12 points to allow the Bears to avenge a 3-2 loss to the Hornets in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Despite the loss and missed opportunity to reach the conference tournament, the Hornets made huge strides under first-year head coach Bruce Atkinson this season, whose roster featured 11 freshman and just one senior.
Delaware State’s 12 wins this season (12-18) were the most by the team since posting an 18-12 mark in 2010. In fact, the Hornets had just 12 wins combined in the last six seasons.
The Hornets’ seven MEAC wins this season were also the most by the team since tallying eight (8-2) in 2010.
In addition, DSU had a three-game win streak this season, its longest in nine years.