North Carolina A&T Aggies (0-19, 0-0) vs. N.C. Central Eagles (2-16, 0-0)
When: Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 PM
Where: Moore Gymnasium
What did he say? "I'm looking forward to us packing this gym on Friday night when Central rolls into town. If we get 1,200 people in this gym, it's going to be crazy. They're going to get a great product. We're very excited about this upcoming match." --A&T head coach Hal Clifton
Match Preview: The last time these two teams met in Moore Gymnasium, it was perhaps the best volleyball match ever played on A&T's campus. Three of the five sets were decided by three points or less and A&T overcame two-set deficit to win 15-13 in the fifth set. They will be at again Friday at 7 p.m. Friday night is vital for the Aggies. Yes, they are 0-19, but a 1-0 start in the conference could make a lot of those losses seem miniscule by comparison. The Aggies showed their resilience on Tuesday, fighting to set point twice in the fourth set against a tough Wofford squad. A lot of A&T's momentum came from the crowd, which is why is important to have an enthusiastic crowd on Friday. The Aggies are looking to have the crowd as a seventh player on Friday against the Eagles.
N.C. Central Scouting Report: The Aggies are 2-10 against the Eagles in program history. The last time the Aggies defeated N.C. Central was a 3-1 victory at home on Oct. 7, 2008. A&T has lost the last seven matches against N.C. Central. Entering into Friday's game, the Eagles are 2-16 with victories against Hampton and Tennessee State. The Eagles, who have lost six straight, are led offensively by freshman Christine Anthony who is third in the conference with 3.52 kills per set. Sophomore Dayana Arrufat Rondon is averaging 2.90 kills per set. Kalin Russell has 53 blocks on the year, including 17 solo blocks.
Against the MEAC: The Aggies are 122-79 in MEAC competition in program history. The Aggies are 2-8 in MEAC Southern Division competition under head coach Hal Clifton, who is entering into his second season with the program in 2012. The Aggies have not been to the MEAC Tournament since 2007, which was also the last year that the Aggies posted a winning record in the MEAC. To earn a berth into the MEAC Tournament, the Aggies must finish in the top four of the Southern Division.
Outside Power: Freshman outside hitters Brooke Stamnes and Aleena McDaniel have been a key part of the A&T offense this season. Stamnes is first on the team in kills (138) and second in digs (145), and leads the team in service aces (35). Stamnes is averaging 2.00 kills and 2.10 digs per set this season, and has posted two double-doubles this season. She was also named to three straight All-Tournament teams this fall. McDaniel is second on the team with 110 kills and has a .093 hitting percentage. She also has 84 digs and 19 aces this fall. She is averaging 2.08 kills and 1.58 digs per set for the Aggies as well.
Magic from the Middles: Senior Andrea Evans and sophomore Aprill McRae have also helped give the Aggies a balanced offense this season. Evans leads the team with a .240 hitting percentage and 53 total blocks. She is third on the team with 132.0 points. Evans is also third on the team with 94 kills. She earned All-Tournament Team honors at the Winthrop Classic. McRae has 91 kills on the year and is second on the team with 38 total blocks. She had eight kills on Tuesday against Winthrop.