Aggies Winning Streak Goes to Five With Win Over SCSU
GREEBSBORO (October 8, 2017) – North Carolina extended their current win streak to five with a three-set sweep (25-12, 22, 20) of the South Carolina State Bulldogs Sunday afternoon at Moore Gymnasium. Freshman Courteney Pitt recorded her fifth double-figure kill match totaling 13 as the Aggies fired 42 kills and posted their third-highest hitting percentage (.284) of the season.
The Aggies (11-9, 3-0 MEAC) five-match winning streak is their longest under head coach Hal Clifton and the program’s longest since winning six straight in 2005. For the second straight season, the Aggies are off to a 3-0 start in the conference.
“We feel effective when we run our 6-2 offense,” said Clifton. “(Setter Megan Wiggins) has done a good job recently with being consistent with her locations and tempos. (Setter Edie Brewer) is a really good attacker, so we need to have both players working well to free up our offense and put pressure on the defense with our three hitters. Having both Megan and Edie working together has increased our offensive efficiency.”
Brewer finished with a match-high 17 assists and junior Megan Wiggins tied a season-best with 15 assists. Pitt benefited the most from their play, finishing with 13 kills on 26 attempts and a .231 hitting percentage. Senior Samara Brown added nine kills with a team-high seven digs and both seniors Alyssa Pitt and Jasmine Lindor each recorded six kills apiece. Lindor was the Aggies best at the net with a .600 hitting percentage.
The Aggies controlled the first set limiting the Bulldogs (1-18, 0-4 MEAC) to five kills and forcing them into eight attack errors. SCSU led 6-4, but consecutive kills by Brown and Lindor followed by three attack errors by the Bulldogs put A&T in front 9-6. Courteney Pitt sparked a 10-2 run for the Aggies on back-to-back kills and Alyssa Pitt’s service ace sunk the Bulldogs in Set 1. Courteney Pitt carried the A&T offense in the first set connecting on 4 of 7 attempts.
The pace slowed in the second set. N.C. A&T committed nine errors but came away with 15 kills to hit .171 in the set. The Bulldogs minimized their errors but continued to struggle offensively with their inability to score on any of their attacks as they recorded only seven kills on 25 attempts.
Lindor’s kill and an attack error by the Bulldogs gave N.C. A&T a slight 9-7 lead. Courteney Pitt extended the SCSU deficit with a pair of kills and then Alyssa Pitt pushed it to five, 13-8, on her first kill in the set. SCSU did cut the deficit to two at 20-18. Three straight attacks by N.C. A&T along with an attack error by the Bulldogs made it set-point at 24-18. A late 4-0 run by the Bulldogs fell short, however, when Brewer set up Courtney Pitt for a set-ending kill.
S.C. State had their best attack percentage of the match in the third set hitting .300 on 12 kills. The Aggies also played well with a .323 hitting percentage on 14 kills. Courtney Pitt and Samara Brown’s four kills apiece led the Aggies in the third.
Kills by Brewer and Courteney Pitt, gave the Aggies a 16-9 lead. The Bulldogs were down 16-9 after kills by Brewer and Courteney Pitt. N.C. A&T’s lead grew to 19-11 on a Brown kill and sophomore Leila Haynesworth put the Aggies closer to victory at 21-13 on her only attack of the match. With their backs against the wall, S.C. State put together four straight points and trailed 21-17. The run ended on a service error by the Bulldogs. Kills by Lindor and two from Courteney Pitt lifted the Aggies to another win.
“We did not play up to our capabilities, and it frustrated our team. We were sluggish starting out and lethargic in some of the things that we were doing,” said Clifton. “But I am proud of the fact that as the match went on we started to gain more energy, more excitement. We have to understand that we must be ready to play from the first whistle and our team learned a tough lesson on that today.”
The Aggies are on the road next weekend in Florida for a pair of conference matches. N.C. A&T heads to Daytona Beach to face Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. Then it is onto Tallahassee for a meeting with Florida A&M on Oct. 15 at 3 p.m.