Dover, Del (Nov. 1, 2019) --- Delaware State rallied from a two set deficit to tie the match, but came up short in the deciding set of a hotly contested 3-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference volleyball loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore in Memorial Hall this evening. The Hawks won the first two sets, 25-23 and 25-22. The Hornets clawed back to take sets three and four, 25-25 and 25-22, to even the match. MDES rebounded to win the deciding fifth set 15-11 to claim the match and complete a regular season sweep of DSU. The Hawks also extended their win streak over the Hornets to 19 since the 2011 season.

Maryland-Eastern Shore also moved into a tie with Delaware State for fourth place in the MEAC North standings. Each team is 5-6 in the division and 10-16 overall. The Hawks hold the tiebreaker over the Hornets by virtue of the season sweep. Each team has four matches remaining in conference play.  

The top four teams in the MEAC Northern and Southern divisions qualify for the post season championship tournament.  

Alexis Lee led all players with 20 kills, while Tijana Korosec added 19 for MDES. Ivana Blazevic had a match-high 52 assists for the Hawks.

Jordan Vang (fr.) was tops for Delaware State with 18 kills, while Sydney Lewis added 12 Anadys Valentin 11 for the Hornets.

DSU’s Jasmal Cruz led all players with 13 digs in the contest, while Taina Leao came off the bench to record a career-high six aces, tops for a DSU player this season.

In the decisive fifth set, MDES scored the first four points and were never headed. The Hawks held their biggest lead in the set, 7-1, after a kill by Mauri Carver.

Delaware State scored six of the next eight points, and pulled to within 9-7 on a winner by Vang. The Hornets trailed 13-11 before the Hawks closed out the win on an attack error by the Hornets and a service ace by Blazevic on the next two points.

The Hornets trailed two sets to none in the match and were behind 14-9 in the third set before taking control. DSU responded with a 9-3 run, and opened up an 18-7 lead on an ace by Leao, who had three aces and a kill to key the rally.

The score was 23-23 in the third set when the Hornets took the next two points on a kill by Lewis and a MDES error to claim the set and stay alive in the match.

The Hornets had to overcome an even bigger deficit in set four to keep their comeback hopes alive.

MDES got off to a flying start in the fourth set, scoring the first seven points and 10 of 11 to start the set. The Hornets trailed 12-3 before coming to life. DSU scored 10 of the next 14 points and, pulled to within 16-13 on a kill by Valentin off a feed from Cruz.

The Hornets later went on a 6-1 rally to climb all the way back, opening up a 19-18 lead on the second of back-to-back kills by Vang.

DSU stretched its lead to 24-20 on another winner by Vang, and closed out the set win on a kill by Leao.

Maryland-Eastern Shore won the hitting battle in the contest. The Hawks posted a .328 attack percentage, tallying 64 kills and 19 errors on 137 attacks.

Delaware State recorded 58 kills and 20 errors on 144 attempts.

Led by Leao, the Hornets tied their season high with 13 aces in the match

DSU will look to bounce back in its next contest on Fri. Nov. 8 against MEAC North leader and  defending champ Howard. The match is set for 6:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.              

Delaware State volleyball