Volleyball Gets 1st Season-Opening Win In 13 Years
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (August 25, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T volleyball team claimed their first season-opening win in 13 years on Friday as the Aggies defeated Alabama A&M 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 27-25) in the ISTAP Collegiate Cup tournament hosted by Alabama State.
The Aggies last season-opening win occurred on Sept. 3, 2004 against Savannah State. Senior Alyssa Pitt was fabulous against the Bulldogs as she finished with 14 kills and committed just three attack errors to produce a whopping .500 hitting percentage. Pitt also added five total blocks. Fellow senior Jasmine Lindor did not make an attack error in seven attempts and finished with five kills, a .714 hitting percentage and she added four total blocks.
On the other side of the classification spectrum, freshman Edie Brewer had a brilliant debut with 17 assists, four service aces, nine kills and only one attack error to produce a .615 hitting percentage. In her first match, freshman Courteney Pitt had four kills and only one attack error in two sets played.
“I thought we played well throughout the match. Our setters did a nice job distributing the ball, and I thought we handled their serves,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton who saw junior setter Megan Wiggins record 12 assists to complement Brewer’s efforts at setter.
Set 3 was tougher for N.C. A&T than the first two sets. The Aggies looked well on their way to victory as Brewer crushed a kill to give the Aggies a 24-19 lead. But the Aggies committed four straight attack errors and Jaelin Gant scored on a service ace to tie the set. After an Aggies timeout, Courteney Pitt responded with a kill. But Syretha Pride tied the set on a kill before a Lindor kill and a Bulldogs attack error gave the Aggies their first victory of the season.
“We had some players step up offensively which was nice to see,” said Clifton. “Alyssa, Courteney, Edie and Jasmine attacked very well and kept their defense off balance. It was a good start to the season, and it was really nice to start with a win.”
N.C. A&T closed out the first set with dominance. After falling behind 18-15 on a Gant kill, the Aggies scored the next five points which included two service aces and one kill from senior Samara Brown. Astonia Gray ended the Aggies run with a kill, but a service ace from freshman Milanna Morgan and three attack errors from the Bulldogs put the Aggies on the brink of winning the first set with a 24-19 advantage. An attack error by Brown halted those plans before Brewer ended the set with a kill thanks to an assist from Wiggins.
The Aggies remained in control in the second set, taking a 21-9 lead on a block assist from Lindor and Alyssa Pitt. The Aggies went on to win the second set on an assist from Brewer to Alyssa Pitt for a kill.
Alyssa Pitt recorded 12 of her 14 kills over the final two sets, while sister Courteney had three kills in the pivotal third set. The Aggies held the Bulldogs to a .013 hitting percentage for the match. The Aggies return to action Saturday morning when they face Grambling State at 9. Later in the day, the Aggies will face tournament host Alabama State at 3:30 p.m.
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