BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.-The North Carolina A&T volleyball team stumbled on Tuesday night at Paul Porter Arena, as they were swept by Gardner-Webb 25-13, 25-16, 25-15.
"Gardner-Webb played very well tonight, said A&T head coach Hal Clifton. "They were excited to be at home and they were looking for their first home win. They had a good crowd, and they played very well and the crowd supported them. They forced us to play terribly and we did. We could not find any sort of rhythm. Our middles were the only ones that were effective and we couldn't even get the ball to them."
The Aggies (0-12) hit .000 in the match, making 19 kills and 19 attack errors. Senior Andrea Evans collected a team-high seven kills . Sophomore Aprill McRae and junior Jeana Daniels each had two blocks on the night.
In the first set, the closest the Aggies got to the Bulldogs was within five points when an attack error by Erin Anderson made it a 10-5 game. The Bulldogs (2-10) capitalized on A&T attack errors and a few aces to win the first game.
In the second set, the Aggies continued to fight from behind. A kill from Daniels which brought A&T within four at 14-10, but that was the closest A&T got within Gardner-Webb. The Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to make it a 19-10 set. Despite late kills from Evans, Aleena McDaniel and Daniels, the Aggies couldn't overcome the deficit.
In the third set, the Aggies started off with a block by McRae to put A&T on top. But then a service error by Brooke Stamnes tied the contest. The Bulldogs collected the next nine points before the Aggies collected a point on a G-WU service error. The Bulldogs went on another run and pulled ahead 16-6.
The A&T middles kept up the offensive, as a kill tipped in by Evans cut it to an 18-11 contest. An attack error by the Bulldogs gave the Aggies their 12th point of the set after a long rally. A kill by McRae kept the Aggies on the offensive, making it a 20-13 contest. Gardner-Webb won the next two points, but Evans got another kill to give the Aggies back the ball. A kill by McRae made it a 23-15 contest. A service error by McRae made it a 24-15 game. An attack error by A&T gave the Bulldogs the match.
"We have to get back in the gym tomorrow and see if we can start getting better. Hand it to Gardner-Webb. They came out with intensity and we didn't match it. They forced us to play poorly," Clifton added.
The Aggies will travel to Rock Hill, S.C. to compete in their last regular season tournament, the Winthrop Invitational. A&T will face Winthrop at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, and on Saturday they will face North Florida at 10 a.m. and Mercer at 5 p.m.