ORANGEBURG, S.C.-The North Carolina A&T volleyball team took on a tough S.C. State team in the season finale on Sunday, and despite a strong performance by junior Andrea Evans, the Aggies (2-27, 2-8) were swept by the Bulldogs (17-15, 8-2) by 25-11, 13, 7.
Evans led the team with seven kills and a .263 attack percentage. Jeana Daniels and Murphye Williams added three kills apiece for the team. The Aggies had 15 reception errors, which was the third time they committed that many errors this season. Overall, the Aggies had a -.118 attack percentage, while the Bulldogs had a .450 attack percentage. S.C. State was led by Shabree Roberson in the match, who had 11 kills to lead her team.
"We lost in three to a very talented SCSU team," said volleyball head coach Hal Clifton. "Andrea hit very well tonight, finishing with seven kills and hitting .263. We just weren't in system enough to get her the ball more."
The Aggies and Bulldogs were tied at 8 until Roberson made a kill to pull ahead 9-8. From there, S.C. State maintained the lead. The Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run to take a 13-8 lead before Evans made a kill to end their streak. Williams and Daniels each had a kill to finish the scoring for the Aggies in Set 1.
In Set 2, the Aggies started slower, but strung together three sets of 3-0 runs to put the pressure on the Bulldogs. The Aggies collected four kills in the set, two of which were provided by Evans. The Bulldogs put away the second game with 11 kills. S.C. State had a strong third set, scoring 10 kills to A&T's four.
Evans ends the season with 110 kills, and an average of 1.2 kills per set. She is second on the team in kills, behind Daniels who has 196 on the year. Evans ended the 2010 season with 117 kills.
While the team won only two matches this season in his first season at the helm of the program, Clifton was proud of the Aggies' accomplishments, and excited for their prospects for the future. The team only has one senior on the 9-woman roster.
Clifton arrived at N.C. A&T three weeks before the start of the season, therefore, there was no time to recruit. He will not have that problem this offseason. He will be able to work with the team over the spring as well. Clifton also has the fortune of returning one of the most improved players in the conference in Daniels. Daniels recorded 89 kills over the final 26 sets of the season.
The Aggies will have to replace Bridget McCaskill at the libero position, but the Aggies look forward to growing.
"I'm very proud of the team and their commitment through the season," Clifton added. "They give it all they had and never gave up. I love their heart and attitude and can't wait to get them through a spring season. We were so young and inexperienced but we have started a good foundation."