Volleyball Readies For The 2017 Season
North Carolina A&T in the ISTAP Collegiate Cup
Date(s): August 25, 2017 vs. Alabama A&M; August 26, 2017 vs. Grambling State; August 26, 2017 vs. Alabama State
Time(s): 4:30 p.m., 9 a.m., 3:30 p.m.
Facility: Lockhart Gymnasium, Montgomery, Ala.
RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS: KILLS PER SET: Samara Brown (3.54); ASSISTS PER SET: Samara Brown (0.20); BLOCKS PER SET: Jasmine Lindor (0.96); SERVICES ACES PER SET: Samara Brown (0.28); DIGS PER SET: Samara Brown (2.02); HITTING PERCENTAGE: Jasmine Lindor (.177).
Aggies Overview: North Carolina A&T begins the season once again in Alabama as a part of the ISTAP Collegiate Cup tournament. The Aggies went 1-3 last season at the tournament. This season they will play three matches with two of those matches coming on Saturday. The Aggies were predicted to finish third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Southern Division. The Aggies are led by three six-foot seniors in Samara Brown, Alyssa Pitt and Jasmine Lindor. Brown led the Aggies in kills last season, while Lindor led the team in blocks and hitting percentage. The Aggies will have a new starter at the setter and libero positions. They will also try to incorporate six freshmen into the mix to surpass preseason expectations.
Alabama A&M Overview: Alabama A&M is coming off a 15-20 season, where they were 11-7 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. They are picked to finish fourth in the SWAC this season.
Grambling State Overview: The Tigers were picked to finish ninth in the SWAC. They finished last season 7-19 overall and 5-13 in the conference. Right side hitter Kevreion Ward led the Tigers in kills per set last season (2.30). Ward also recorded 0.58 blocks per set last season. Ward is a preseason second-team All-SWAC selection. The Tigers reached the SWAC tournament for the first time since 2011.
Alabama State Overview: The Hornets are the defending SWAC champions and have won three of the last four SWAC titles. The Hornets went 24-9 overall and 18-0 in the SWAC last season. Senior Briana Dorsey returns after posting 288 kills and an incredible .411 hitting percentage. She also added 93 blocks. Dorsey is the preseason SWAC Offensive Player of the Year. The Hornets also return senior Ni’yesha Browns (274 kills in 2016) and 2016 SWAC Newcomer of the Year Bayle’ Bennett (255 kills in 2016). They placed five players on the preseason all-conference team.
News & Notes:
- N.C. A&T will enter the season trying to halt a four-match losing streak after losing their last four in 2016. N.C. A&T will be after their first double-digit win season since the 2006 season.
- The Aggies are looking for their first season-opening win since beating Savannah State 3-0 on Sept. 3, 2004.
- Samara Brown, a first-team All-MEAC selection last season, has recorded double-figure kills in her last eight matches. She has recorded five double-doubles in that stretch.
- At last season’s ISTAP Collegiate Cup, the Aggies lost two five-set matches, one to Alabama State, the eventual SWAC champion, and the other to Alabama A&M. The Aggies were 1-5 in five-set contests last season.