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MEAC Tournament Still A Possibility For A&T VB

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 10/10/2012
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Ashley Johnson comes into the weekend ranked fifth in the conference in digs with 3.66 per game. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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North Carolina A&T Aggies (0-23, 0-3) at S.C. State Bulldogs (5-9, 2-1)

Friday, October 12-6 p.m.

North Carolina A&T Aggies at Savannah State Tigers

Sunday, October 14-1 p.m.     

Weekend Preview:  The Aggies are trekking south for their first conference road trip of the season.  They will visit Orangeburg, S.C. to take on the S.C. State Bulldogs on Friday and will head to Savannah, Ga., to face the Tigers on Sunday.  The Aggies are looking to pick up a pair of key road wins.  They are currently tied with Savannah State for fifth place in the MEAC Southern Division with an 0-3 record.  The Aggies need to finish fourth or higher in the Division in order to earn a berth into the MEAC Tournament.  A pair of road wins would help advance their cause. While the Aggies have yet to earn a conference win, they have played two five-set matches against N.C. Central and Bethune-Cookman.    

S.C. State Scouting Report: A&T is 27-8 against the Bulldogs, but has lost the last seven matches in the series.  The last time the Aggies defeated the Bulldogs was on Nov. 2, 2008 in three sets.  The Bulldogs are 5-9 on the year and 2-1 in the Southern Division after defeating Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State.  Junior Desire Waller has 198 kills on the year and is averaging 4.71 kills per set.  Waller was named the MEAC Player of the Week on Sept. 24, and was named to the MEAC Preseason Team after earning the 2011 MEAC Player of the Year award.  Maya Bell is second on S.C. State with an average of 2.18 kills.  Alyse Lewis leads the Bulldogs with 57 blocks, and Elizabeth Webb is averaging a team-best 3.83 digs per set.    

Savannah Scouting Report: A&T is 10-0 against Savannah State.  The Aggies look to retain that streak on Sunday, as they take on the Tigers at Wilcox-Wiley Gymnasium.  In their last meeting, the Aggies won 3-1 in Georgia. Jeana Daniels recorded 22 kills behind a .333 hitting percentage.  Andrea Evans had nine kills, 10 digs and a team-best six blocks in the match.  The Tigers are 0-23 overall and 0-3 in the Southern Division entering into the weekend.  They will play N.C. Central on Friday before hosting the Aggies on Sunday.  Jasmine Waite leads the Tigers with 104 kills, while Bryana Gadis has 102 kills on the year.  Chikia Jones leads the team with 24 total blocks.  Savannah State has four players with 100 or more digs on the season. 

I Dig That:  Freshman libero Ashley Johnson has 315 digs on the year.  She is the first A&T player to reach the 300 dig plateau in a season since 2007, when Krystal Cooper ended the year with 333 and Stacey Malone had 513.  Lauren Walker also holds the program record for career digs with 1,454.  Johnson is on pace to break the A&T digs career record, if she averages 364 digs per season.            

100 is Grand:  The Aggies have five players with 100 or more kills on the year with nine matches to play. Freshmen Brooke Stamnes (190) and Aleena McDaniel (150),senior Andrea Evans (123), sophomore Aprill McRae (108) and junior Jeana Daniels (100) have reached the century mark. The last time the Aggies had five or more players with 100+ kills in a season was in 2007, when they had six players reach triple-digit kills, including two with more than 320 kills (Aundia Gray and Krystal Cooper).

What did he say?: "We've got to suit up and get ready for South Carolina State and Savannah State this weekend and try and take two road wins which is a very difficult thing to do. I think we're prepared to do it. We've just got to keep following the game plan and going after it."-Head Coach Hal Clifton

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