SAVANNAH, Ga. - The North Carolina A&T volleyball team has a crooked digit on the left-hand side of the standings. The Aggies won their first match of the season with a three-set win (25-18, 25-20, 25-14) over Savannah State Sunday afternoon at Wilcox-Wiley Gym.
For the second straight match, freshman Te'Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth recorded a season high as she finished with 11 kills. It was also her second straight match with double-figure kills. Fellow freshman Brooke Stamnes finished with seven kills and five service aces, as the Aggies recorded 18 service aces in the match. It was one off of their season high.
"It was not pretty, but we'll take it and move on," A&T head coach Hal Clifton said.
A&T (1-24, 1-4 MEAC) waited until the third set to have its best showing. We're at the point now where we are getting some great individual performances, but once we're able to build a complete team here, we're going to make some noise in the MEAC."
For the seventh time this season, the Aggies posted a hitting percentage better than .300. It occurred in the third set, where the Aggies made just four attack errors on 29 attempts. Sophomore Aprill McRae led the way as she slammed down five kills in seven attempts with only one attack error. Hawkins-Hollingsworth and freshman Aleena McDaniel combined for five kills and no attack errors in the third as well.
In the process, the Aggies stomped all over the Tigers to close the match. McRae crushing attack gave A&T a 14-5 third-set lead. It forced the Tigers to call timeout. When the two teams returned to the floor, McRae carried on as she gave the Aggies their biggest lead of the match with another thunderous kill. McRae continued her dominance as she scored three of the Aggies final four points to secure win No. 1. All five of her kills came in the third set.
A&T will step outside of the conference on Wednesday even though it will be playing a MEAC team. Norfolk State comes to town for the Aggies annual Dig Pink match, where the Aggies will be doing their part to raise awareness about the dangerous of breast cancer during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
In the MEAC, only matches against divisional opponents count toward the standings. With the Aggies being in the MEAC South and the Spartans being in the North, the match will be deemed a non-conference contest. Match time is 6 p.m., in Moore Gymnasium.