ROCK HILL, S.C. – The North Carolina A&T volleyball team put up its best performance of the season but fell 3-2 to Winthrop on Tuesday evening. The Aggies lost to the Eagles in five sets (25-17, 21-25, 15-25, 25-21, 9-15).
A&T (0-4) found its rhythm early and won the first set. The Aggies used several runs and stretched their biggest lead to 18-8. However, the Eagles (4-0) responded by taking the next two sets.
After being down 10-3, the Aggies worked together and staged a comeback to tie the match at 20 with a kill from sophomore Aleena McDaniel. A&T responded by scoring four straight points to take a 24-20 lead. A kill from Brooke Stamnes helped the Aggies close the fourth set and force the game to a deciding fifth set.
In the fifth, Jade Boone's kill pulled the Aggies to within three at 9-6. But the Eagles scored the next two points to take control of the fifth.
"The team played really well tonight against a solid opponent," said head coach Hal Clifton. "We were able to stay in a system more that really helped our attacking. The girls played tremendous defense and I'm so proud of how hard they competed tonight. It was a true team effort. We are going to figure out a way to win five set matches."
Stames finished with a season-high 13 kills. McDaniel’s defense matched her offense against the Eagles as she registered a double-double with 15 digs and 10 kills. Te’Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth recorded a game-high six blocks and Maris Kellar finished with five.
The Aggies return back to action on Friday, when it hosts the Aggie-Spartan Invitational at Moore Gymnasium. The Aggies open the invite against Alabama State at 7 p.m.