By Carly Moon
Hampton University prepares to host the second round of The Battle of the Bay rivalry game against Norfolk State University on Monday, Feb. 27.
The Pirates fell to the Spartans at the first round of the Battle of the Bay, losing 62-79 on Jan. 21.
The Lady Pirates won 58-57 that night.
"We didn't bring enough energy and toughness that a rivalry game requires," said Trevond Barnes (photo right), a sophomore forward for the Hampton men's basketball team.
Students from both schools promise to bring their A-games, including their best cheerleaders, the most lit band and lively crowds.
"We have been working vigorously for the last couple of weeks, to show that we are the best cheerleaders between the two schools." said Ronyae Northam, a sophomore elementary education major and Hampton U Hoo'rah cheerleader.
Hampton University leadership sent out mass emails about the match-up to students, faculty and staff during the days leading up until the games.
"They're always blowing up my phone with alerts." said Kenya Waugh, a sophomore strategic communications major, English minor from Washington, D.C. "But it helps me stay aware of the games and activities going on."
The game theme is "True blue with a dab of pink" to bring awareness and honor to breast cancer survivors. Hampton U. is also recognizing student-athletes who are on the Dean's List with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
"I'm excited to be honored at the game because, us student-athletes work so hard on and off the field, and still manage to get our work done," said Courtney James (photo right), a sophomore criminal justice major from Suffolk, Virginia.
Students from both schools are looking forward to game day -- an opportunity for students to represent with school spirit.
"I love it! It always brings a lot of good competition between the two schools," said Kayla Culbreath, a Norfolk State University sophomore biology pre-professional major from Atlanta. "Even though, it is a competitive game, the music, good crowd and dances bring us all together to represent one HBCU community."
Hampton students said they are determined to exhibit intangible feelings of school pride and to show out in the stands. The Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training program has been the face of the crowd at basketball games, and for rivalry games nothing less is expected.
"I can't wait to sit with my SLP family and trash talk the other team," said Daliyah Ross, a sophomore business management major from Southern California.
The rivalry between both MEAC conference teams dates back to 1963. Both schools are geographically separated by the Hampton Roads harbor.
Hampton men, whose record is, 12-15, will face 15-14 Norfolk State at Hampton University's last home game on Monday at 9 p.m. The Lady Pirates play NSU at 6 p.m.
The men's game will be televised on ESPNU or you can listen on WHOV-FM 88.1.
The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.