GREENSBORO (November 12, 2017) – North Carolina A&T concluded the 2017 regular season with a 3-0 (25-14, 21, 21) loss to Florida A&M on Sunday in Moore Gymnasium. Three seniors were honored prior to the match playing at home for the last time. Alyssa Pitt, Samara Brown and Jasmine Lindor combined for 19 of 27 team kills by the Aggies against Florida A&M.
“We were just very inconsistent tonight and that doesn’t favor well in trying to win matches,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton. “Our serve/receive broke down early in the first set, we started getting some momentum in the second and even played a good third set, but at the moment it is hard to dig ourselves out of the hole we put ourselves in.”
N.C. A&T (14-13, 6-4) tallied their fifth highest dig total of the season with 58 against Florida A&M (13-11, 9-1) led by sophomore Christa Wilson’s 17. Wilson tied a season-high with 17 digs while Samara Brown had 12 and junior Megan Wiggins finished with 10. Brown led the Aggie attack with nine kills and a service ace and Jasmine Lindor added six kills and three blocks. Sophomore Camille Uadile anchored the defense with four blocks and freshman Courteney Pitt had five kills, three digs and two blocks.
“FAMU did a good job against us tonight,” said Clifton. “We did not hit very well but a lot of that was us trying to force and hit some shots that we were not ready to hit. We were out of system quite a bit trying to attack too far off the net. When we don’t execute you do not have those offensive numbers to be productive.”
The Aggies had a tough outing in the first set committing 10 errors with only nine kills. Brown had five of the Aggie kills in a set that was dominated by FAMU. The Rattlers posted a .231 attack percentage connecting on seven kills with one error.
Lindor sparked a struggling Aggies attack in the second set with two early kills in the first three points. Brown tied things at 4 before block assists from Brown and Lindor gave the Aggies their first lead of the match at 5-4. After a 5-0 run by the Rattlers, N.C. A&T called a timeout and responded with block assists by Courteney Pitt and Uadile and Uadile and Brewer, trimming the deficit to 11-9.
N.C. A&T remained close as a kill by Lindor followed by block assists by Brewer and Lindor and a kill by Courteney Pitt brought the Aggies to within three at 23-20. Despite the late rally, FAMU closed the set with kills by Aybuke Kocabiyik and Candelaria Herrera to win the set. The Aggies out-blocked the Rattlers 4-0 in the second set.
The third set featured four early lead changes within the first eight points as N.C. A&T fought hard in their regular-season finale. Block assists by Courteney Pitt and Lindor put N.C. A&T ahead 3-2 and then a kill by Courteney Pitt reclaimed the lead at 4-3. Lindor’s first kill of the set put the Aggies back in front 5-4 and then kills by Lindor and Brown highlighted a quick 3-0 run giving NC A&T an 8-7 advantage.
Florida A&M began to pull away on several attack errors by the Aggies. FAMU used an 8-2 run to lead 15-10. However, N.C. A&T utilized four FAMU errors and a kill by Brewer to battle their way back into the set, trailing only 16-15. The momentum shifted back FAMU’s favor after three straight points forced the Aggies into a timeout down 19-15.
Brown’s kill, a service ace by Lindor and a kill from Uadile was all part of the Aggies final run that had them behind 20-18. Three final kills by Brown, Alyssa and Courteney Pitt favored the Aggies but once again FAMU was too strong down the stretch. Nicole Abreu led FAMU with 23 digs and 11 kills. Valeria Lopez had 30 assists and Valentina Carrasco finished with 16 digs.
“All in all, it was not a bad regular season for us. We feel as if we have a lot of good things going for us heading into the tournament. So, we are excited about what the future holds. We have had a good season finishing 14-13 and that is a big step for our program. We are definitely not out, and we will try to get better each day and head up to Maryland Eastern Shore next week for the MEAC volleyball championships.”
North Carolina A&T prepares for the upcoming 2017 MEAC Volleyball Tournament on Nov. 17-19 in Princess Anne, Md. on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. N.C. A&T is slated to play the No. 2 seed from the MEAC Northern Division, the Howard Bison.