North Carolina A&T Aggies (2-15, 1-0 MEAC) vs. Bethune-Cookman (2-16, 1-1 MEAC) & Florida A&M (5-6, 2-0 MEAC)
Date: Oct. 4 vs. Bethune-Cookman, 7 p.m.; Oct. 6 vs. Florida A&M, 1 p.m.
Facilities: Historic Moore Gymnasium – Bethune-Cookman, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Al Lawson Center – Florida A&M, Tallahassee, Fla.
Probable Starters: MB Aleena McDaniel (5-10, So., 2.37 kills/set), RS Maris Kellar (5-8 So., 0.33 blocks/set), S Liz Martino (5-7, Fr., 5.07 assists/set), OH Brooke Stamnes (5-9, So., 2.51 kills/set), MH Te'Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth (6-0, So., 0.70 blocks/set) and OH Jillian Nobles (6-0 Fr., 1.47 kills/set)
Aggies Overview: North Carolina A&T snapped an 11-game losing streak with a dominating 3-1 win over N.C. Central last Friday to open up its MEAC schedule. The Aggies set several season, career, and match-highs against the Eagles which will be great momentum heading into this weekend’s matches. The win over the Eagles marked the first time A&T defeated them since Oct. 7, 2008, ending a 10-match losing streak to their archrivals. It also marked the first time A&T started conference play 1-0 since Sept. 25, 2007. The Aggies placed four players in double-digit kills to tab a .226 team-high hitting percentage. Stamnes, who finished with a match-high 16 kills in the Aggies last contest, has led the team in kills for the last three matches. McDaniel has registered 135 kills this season and leads the team in double-doubles (three). She posted 13 kills and 16 digs against NCCU. A&T saw a lot of production in the middle from Hawkins-Hollingsworth in their last match. She recorded 10 kills and finished with a career and game-high .429 hitting percentage. She is also A&T’s leader in blocks (30).
Match Overview: The Wildcats faced a 3-2 setback to S.C. State in the conference opener. However, Bethune-Cookman responded with a 3-0 win over Savannah State on Sunday. BCU is led by Delicia Pierre who is fifth in the MEAC in kills (3.09/set). Pierre also leads BCU in blocks (34) and service aces (24). Freshman Alexis Thomas has been the Wildcats playmaker and is fifth in the MEAC in assists (3.09). Rhea Simon is the only other player to tab over 100 kills for BCU this season, averaging 2.11/set. Florida A&M is on a three-game winning streak after defeating Texas Southern 3-0, Savannah State 3-0, and S.C. State State 3-1. The Rattlers are third in the conference in team hitting percentage (.192), fourth in kills (11.05/set) and blocks (1.68). Florida A&M has an impressive front row that is averaging at least two kills per set. Katherine Huanec (2.98), Ginna Lopez-Chavez (2.71) and Yiesha Arcia (2.10) have led the Rattlers offensively. The Aggies will have to face the league’s top hitter, Lopez-Chavez who has recorded a .392 hitting percentage.
Potential Star: Stamnes has led the Aggies offensively in the last three matches. In the last three matches Stamnes has averaged 3.60 kills per set.
News & Notes:
- The Aggies lost to BCU in five sets twice in 2012. Stamnes and McDaniel each recorded a double-double against the Wildcats last season.
- The last time A&T defeated BCU was on Oct. 24, 2008 with a 3-1 win in Florida.
- Ashley Johnson moved up a spot and is fifth in the MEAC in digs, averaging 3.95 digs per set.
From the Coach
"We’ve been focusing a lot on ball control. We just want to be a bit tighter than we have been in the past. I think the upcoming matches will be very competitive. The teams in the Southern Division are usually closely matched. It’s going to be a tough trip. Any time you’re on the road in conference it makes it a little harder but we’re hoping to go down there and really compete well."
A&T head volleyball coach Hal Clifton