Aggies Move Above .500 Again, Down NCCU
GREENSBORO (October 27, 2017) – The Pitt sisters – Alyssa and Courteney – combined for 20 of North Carolina A&T’s 42 kills Friday night as the Aggies volleyball teams swept arch-rival North Carolina Central (25-20, 26-24, 25-16) at Moore Gymnasium.
“It is always fun to play a rivalry match. We played NCCU at their place and it went five sets,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton, who put his Aggies team back on the court after 12 days off from competition. “Our team was fired up after some really good practices this week. We watched film, and I felt like our team was really prepared mentally and physically. Playing in Moore Gymnasium with all of our fans just made it much more fun with the atmosphere.”
Alyssa Pitt finished with nine kills, only one attack error and a .615 hitting percentage. She also had three block assists. Sister Courteney added 11 kills with a match-high 30 attack attempts and a .233 hitting percentage. N.C. A&T (12-11, 4-2 MEAC) posted a .257 attack percentage and out-blocked N.C. Central (3-16, 3-4 MEAC) 9-4 anchored by sophomore Camille Uadiale’s two solo blocks and three assisted blocks. Freshman Edie Brewer finished with five kills, 19 assists, eight digs, two block assists and a .444 hitting percentage.
A strong opening stand by the Aggie defense dictated the match between the rivals. Alyssa Pitt and Samara Brown both finished with four kills in the first set as the Eagles were held to only eight kills while the Aggies fired 16. Trailing 9-8, Alyssa Pitt’s second kill of the set sparked five consecutive points for the Aggies as the momentum shifted in N.C. A&T’s favor to allow them to take a 12-9 lead.
The Eagles committed three attack errors and sophomore Camille Uadiale recorded her first kill during the run. Back-to-back kills by Brown gave the Aggies a 21-17 advantage and her final attack of the set made it 23-18. Consecutive errors by the Eagles secured the set. Freshman Milanna Morgan enforced the A&T defensive strategy with six digs while Brown added five in the opening set.
Courteney Pitt shined in the second set exploding for six kills as the Aggies posted another 16 kills with a .282 hitting percentage. Her first kill pushed the Aggie advantage to 6-4 and her second tied things up at 8. A NCCU attack error followed and then a kill by Brown forced the Eagles into an early timeout down, 10-8. The Eagles came up with three unanswered points and managed to tie the set at 12.
Alyssa Pitt ended the NCCU run with one of her three kills in the set, but NCCU responded with their own attack and took the lead 14-13. The Eagles maintained a slight cushion over a short span and held a 22-19 advantage. The Aggies used a 7-2 run in the final moments to take control of the set. Brewer and Lindor each had two kills over that stretch and Courteney Pitt’s sixth kill put the Aggies in front, 25-24. An attack error once again by NCCU propelled the Aggies to victory.
NCCU dictated the pace of the third set early after several errors by the Aggies. After an Aggie service error and a service ace by the Eagles, Uadiale ended the struggles for N.C. A&T with a kill to cut the deficit to 9-8. N.C. A&T bounced back in the set striking four service aces. Their first ace by Courteney Pitt tied the set at 10. NCCU answered with a kill of their own that quickly, but N.C. A&T reeled off four consecutive points to jump ahead, 14-11. The Aggies kept the attack going behind the arm swing of Alyssa Pitt and Brown. The Aggies second service ace by Brown extended their advantage to 19-13 and a pair of aces by Jasmine Lindor sealed the straight-set sweep.
“Alyssa really stepped up tonight and was really aggressive on the front row with her attacking,” Clifton said. “Edie is a very savvy, well-skilled volleyball player who understands the game at a different level. She sets and hits for us, and she is doing a fantastic job for us as a dual threat,” Clifton ended.
N.C. Central’s Whitney White and Christine Alcox each had nine kills and Paige Phillips collected 29 assists.
The Aggies head to Georgia and South Carolina next weekend, facing Savannah State on Friday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m., and South Carolina State on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. N.C. A&T defeated both the Tigers and Bulldogs in straight-sets on Oct. 6 and Oct. 8. This will be the final road trip for the Aggies of the regular season.