GREENSBORO – Murray State placed four players in double-digit kills to defeat the North Carolina A&T State volleyball team 3-1 at the Aggie-Spartan Invitiational presented by Ashford Suites, Saturday afternoon at Moore Gymnasium.

A&T went 1-2 during the tournament and Aleena McDaniel was named to the all-tournament team.

The Aggies (1-6) won the first set 25-20 but the Racers (4-2) took the next three sets (25-10, 25-20, 25-18).

It was A&T with the hot hand in the first set as it turned in a .278 hitting percentage, allowing just three attack errors. The Aggies clung to a 17-10 lead before the Racers cut their deficit to 21-19. A&T scored the next three points to extend its lead to 24-19. A kill from Murray State kept the game alive, but the Aggies answered with a kill from Brooke Stamnes to take the set.

“We started this match off very well,” head volleyball coach Hal Clifton said. “We had a lot of intensity and scored well. But in the second set Murray State got ahead of us and we played catch up for the rest of the day.  We weren’t getting kills or consistently hitting the ball. We had way too many hitting errors. We needed to terminate the ball, and when you don’t terminate, you don’t win."

After a sluggish second set by the Aggies they tried to redeem themselves in the third. After being down 21-11, A&T tallied five unanswered points. Both teams went back and forth, exchanging points but the Racers pulled away with the win. Murray State maintained the lead for most of the fourth set but a pair of kills from Stamnes and Jade Boone helped the Aggies close in on the Racers’ 20-17 advantage. Murray State responded with three consecutive points until McDaniel registered a kill to slice the Racers’ lead to 23-18. A kill from Murray State’s Scottie Ingram and an A&T error helped lift the Racers to the win. 

McDaniel finished with a team-leading 15 kills and Te’Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworh added three blocks.

Taylor Olden (14), Scottie Ingram (13), Alyssa Lelm (12) and Emily Schmahl (10) finished in double-figures in kills.

“We’re going to focus on a lot of defensive plays,” Clifton said about the Aggies’ upcoming practices. “We’re going to figure out ways to score balls and terminate.”

A&T will compete in the UNC Wilmington Tournament Sept. 13-14 where it will face UNCW, Western Carolina and UNC Asheville.