Spartans Close Rocky Top Invitational with Losses to Tennessee, New Hampshire

Timeless Traxx 1

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State dropped a pair of non-conference bouts on Saturday to wrap up the Rocky Top Invitational. The Spartans fell 3-0 against Tennessee, before losing to New Hampshire by the same result.

The Spartans fell 3-0 against Tennessee

The Spartans had trouble and couldn’t consistently contain the Tennessee offense, as the hosting Volunteers earned 25-12, 25-17, and 25-18 set victories.

Despite the end result, NSU had shown improvement with each set against the Vols. After hitting under .100 in the first game, that rate increased to .214 in the second as the Spartans made the match more competitive.

Norfolk State’s strongest fight came in the third set, where the defense made the most difference. The Spartans led 14-13 at one point in the game, keeping the talented Volunteer hitters from finding a groove.

Outside hitter Carla Hernandez tried to mount a late push with two kills in the final stretch, but the Volunteers retook control to finish things off. Hernandez led the Spartans with 11 kills on 27 attempts.

After the afternoon match, NSU couldn’t get its offense rolling in the second contest of the day, posting a .058 hitting percentage in the 25-21, 25-20, 25-16. The Spartans remained neck-and-neck through the first half of the opening set, but a few late attacking errors helped New Hampshire capture the momentum early.

Sydney McCree notched her third double-double in a four-match span, posting 20 assists and 18 digs. The freshman setter racked up 66 assists and 31 digs over another standout weekend.

Paola Matos led the Spartans with 10 kills in the second match, while Nicole Rodriguez kept the back line steady with 13 digs against New Hampshire.

NSU (0-7) returns to Gill Gymnasium on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. showdown against cross-town rival Old Dominion. The match will be streamed live on HBCU Gameday+.