CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The North Carolina A&T volleyball team lost its final two matches of the Western Carolina Catamount Classic as Northern Kentucky defeated the Aggies 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-12, 25-19) Saturday afternoon at the Ramsey Center. Later in the evening, host Western Carolina posted a 3-0 win over A&T (25-9, 25-12, 25-21).
Although the Aggies went 0-3 during the season opening tournament, they did win two sets within those three matches. A&T didn't win its first set until Sept. 27 last season.
There were also a few promising performances from the weekend. Freshmen Aleena McDaniel and Brooke Stamnes had 34 of the Aggies' 63 kills with McDaniel leading the way with 3.00 kills per contests. Stamnes was named to the all-tournament team.
The veterans also contributed. Senior Andrea Evans made just four errors and recorded a .325 hitting percentage. Junior Jeana Daniels had eight blocks over the weekend.
McDaniel led the Aggies against Northern Kentucky with 11 kills and seven digs, while Evans added eight kills on a .500 hitting percentage. The Norse clinched the match by posting hitting percentages of .480 and .400 in sets three and four.
Against Western Carolina, the Aggies surrendered a .337 hitting percentage to the Catamounts as Caitlin Piechota (14 kills) and Jordan Timmerman (12 kills) had double figure kills. Timmerman finished with an impressive .476 hitting percentage. McDaniel had nine kills for A&T, marking the third straight match she had the Aggies' highest kill total.
“Overall it was a great experience,” said head coach Hal Clifton. “We won two sets, which compared to last year it took us a long time to get our first set win. The biggest thing is that we don’t want to lose matches in three and we captured that with the St. Peter’s and Northern Kentucky matches.”
The schedule does not get any easier for the Aggies as they travel to Elon to face the Elon Phoenix at 7 p.m., on Aug. 29.