WILMINGTON – North Carolina A&T volleyball junior setter Edie Brewer recorded her second consecutive triple-double and the fourth of her career in a 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 17-25, 25-20, 15-6) loss to Drake Saturday morning at the UNCW Hampton Inns Tournament at UNC Wilmington’s Trask Coliseum. Later in the day, UNCW defeated the Aggies 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-15).
Brewer, who was named to her third all-tournament team of the season, started the day with by posting 22 kills, a team-high 30 assists and 10 digs. She also added two service aces and a .351 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Addy Warfield recorded her second consecutive double-double with 26 assists and 14 digs.
In the first match, sophomore Fatimah Shabazz followed Brewer with 20 kills, six blocks and a .333 hitting percentage. Sophomore Andrea Laboy-Rivera recorded 25 digs and senior Courteney Pitt recorded 13 kills and five digs.
“Edie led the team again with back-to-back triple-doubles,” N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton said. “We played a solid match and I’m happy with the team’s competitive spirit. Fatimah did a nice job at the net both offensively and defensively.”
In the final frame, Drake took control of the set by taking a 13-4 lead and were never really threatened from there as they wrapped up the set and the match with a kill from Gillian Gergen. But the Aggies gave Drake all they wanted for the majority of the match.
The Aggies (2-12) did lose the opening set to the Bulldogs despite taking a 17-13 advantage. Drake scored the next four points to tie the set at 17 forcing an Aggies timeout. The Bulldogs took their biggest lead of the set, 23-20, on a Gergen kill. Richards cut the lead to two with a kill, but a Drake kill and an Aggies attack error gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
N.C. A&T was on the verge of dropping Set 2 as they trailed 23-16. A Brewer kill sparked an 8-0 Aggies run that included two Drake attack errors and a ball-handling error. The run ended with a Brewer ace that gave N.C. A&T a 24-23 lead. Drake tied the match, but a kill from Shabazz and an ace from Richards completed the Aggies remarkable comeback.
In the third stanza, N.C. A&T took a 2-1 match lead thanks in part to an 11-3 start. The Bulldogs did get to within two at 16-14. A kill by Hall and a ball-handling error slowed the Bulldogs momentum and put the energy on the Aggies side. Back-to-back Shabazz kills gave the Aggies a nine-point win in the set.
Drake looked to stay alive in the fourth as they took an 11-6 lead. A Shabazz kill got the Aggies to within one at 19-18. The Bulldogs scored the next two points before Shabazz took a pass from Brewer and scored on a kill. Drake kept the Aggies from winning by scoring the next two points and ended the set on a kill and an ace leading to the fifth set.
The Bulldogs were led by Emily Plock with 18 kills and added 14 digs for a double-double.
In the second match, Brewer and Shabazz led the team with eight kills each. Brewer led the team with a match-high 16 assists and added nine digs. Warfield added 13 assists and three digs. Andrea Laboy-Rivera added 14 digs and Pitt added six kills and eight digs.
“It’s disappointing that the results don’t show how good we played over the weekend,” Clifton said. “We saw a lot of good things in all the matches. Edie was selected to the all-tournament team, but we got a lot of good play from Fatimah and Courteney.”
The closest set against UNCW was the first for the Aggies. They held a 7-3 advantage. The Seahawks fought until they were able to take a 22-20 lead. A Pitt kill followed by a block assist from Hall and Pitt tied the set at 22. UNW regained the lead before another Pitt kill tied the set for the sixth time. Block assists from Richards and Shabazz put the Aggies on the verge of victory at 24-23. But the Seahawks ended the set on a 3-0 run that culminated with a block assist by Brynn Montgomery and Kendall Bender.
The Aggies return home for their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opener with S.C. State Friday at 6 p.m. in Moore Gymnasium.
“As long as we continue to compete at this level and remain mentally focused, I feel like we will do well moving forward as we enter conference play,” said Clifton.