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Aggies Sweep Florida Trip, Beat FAMU 3-1

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – North Carolina A&T volleyball is on special run. They completed the difficult road sweep of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Florida schools with a 3-1 win over Florida A&M (23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-18).

The Aggies (8-12, 6-0 MEAC) remain undefeated in conference play as they swept the Florida trip for the first time in 21 years.

 “The Ladies played very well today,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton.  “Even in the first set, we played well but had some unlucky touches, which FAMU capitalized on. After the first set, we really started to come to life. I thought we passed the ball well, which allowed us to spread the ball around. That kept them off balance, which helped us go on some mini-runs.”

N.C. A&T snapped a 20-match losing streak in Tallahassee, which marked the last time the Aggies swept a season series from the Rattlers. The Aggies six-match winning streak is their best since 2005.

Junior setter Edie Brewer recorded a double-double with a match-high 32 assists and to along with 12 kills. She also had seven digs, two blocks and a .435 hitting percentage.  Junior outside hitter Courteney Pitt led the team with a match-high 16 kills, six digs and four blocks while hitting .300.

Sophomore libero Andrea Laboy-Rivera led the team with a match-high 23 digs, while sophomore right side hitter Fatimah Shabazz added 13 kills and two blocks with a .423 hitting percentage.

Freshman setter Addy Warfield added 17 assists, eight digs, two kills and two service aces. Senior outside hitter Christa Wilson added 10 digs, four kills and four service aces. 

The Rattlers (8-13, 4-2 MEAC) were able to take a 19-15 lead in the first set thanks to an Aggies attack error. They would increase that lead to 22-17 before a 4-0 Aggies run that included two Pitt kills and a Shabazz kill cut FAMU’s lead to 22-21.

The Aggies were never able to capture lead as the two teams went back-and-forth as the Aggies got back to within one, 24-23, on a block assist from senior Makaylah Elliott and freshman Mallory Porcher. But FAMU won the set on an Alyssa Brown kill.  

N.C. A&T opened Set 2 on fire. They forced a FAMU timeout after taking a 9-4 lead. They then increased their lead to 19-9. Brewer had three kills during the Aggies 10-5 spurt. N.C. A&T led by as many as 11 in the second set, 22-11. FAMU did cut the lead to four, 24-20, but the Aggies ended the set with a kill from Brewer.  

There was another strong start in the third set for N.C. A&T. They scored the first six points that included a Shabazz kill, a Pitt kill and back-to-back service aces from Wilson. After a FAMU timeout, the Aggies remained tenacious. They increased their lead to 11-3 thanks to two Pitt kills and a Brewer kill. t lead, 11-3, that included two Pitt kills and a Brewer kill.

FAMU did rally, eventually cutting the Aggies big lead down to three, 18-15. The Aggies withstood the comeback attempt by scoring the next two points on a service error and a block assist from Pitt and Porcher. The Rattlers never really threatened again.

After a Karen Blathers kill cut the Aggies lead to 23-19, the Aggies took a 2-1 set lead thanks to an attack error and a block assist from Shaylynn Hall and Shabazz.

The Aggies had to fight to put the Rattlers away. They held a slim 17-16 lead before a 7-0 run ignited by a solo block by Hall did all but put the Rattlers away. After a FAMU point to cut the lead to six points, 24-18, a Rattler service error gave the Aggies the match.

The win increases the Aggies MEAC Southern Division lead to two games over FAMU and three games over Bethune-Cookman. The Rattlers were led by Maria Yvett Garcia with 11 kills.

The Aggies return home to face Maryland Eastern Shore (7-13, 2-3 MEAC) Friday at 6 p.m., and Delaware State (7-11, 2-2 MEAC) Sunday at 1 p.m. in Moore Gymnasium.