North Carolina A&T (1-6) at Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire UNCW Volleyball Classic
Dates: Sept. 13 vs. UNC Wilmington, 2:30 p.m.; Sept. 14 vs. Western Carolina, 10:30 a.m.; Sept. 14 vs. UNC Asheville, 5 p.m.
Facility: Hancock Hall
Probable Starters: MB Aleena McDaniel (5-10, Sophomore, 2.62 kills/set), RS Maris Kellar (5-8 Sophomore, 0.42 blocks/set), S Liz Martino (5-7, Freshman, 4.50 assists/set), OH Brooke Stamnes (5-9, Sophomore, 2.60 kills/set), MH Jade Boone (5-7, Freshman, 0.47 blocks/set) and OH Jillian Nobles (6-0 Freshman, 1.00 kills/set)
Aggies Overview: North Carolina A&T is heading to their third tournament of the season, the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire UNCW Volleyball Classic. The Aggies picked up their first win, a 3-2 victory over Alabama State in the opening match of the Ashford Suites Aggie-Spartans Invitational last week. It was their first non-conference win since Sept. 25, 2010. A&T also registered a match-high 53 kills in the win. Stamnes and McDaniel have been A&T’s heavy hitters so far this season and have recorded three matches each in double-digit kills. McDaniel is coming off her best hitting performance of her career (.316) where she tallied a team-leading 15 kills against Murray State.
Tournament Overview: A&T will face host UNC Wilmington (4-2) on Friday as the Seahawks make their home opening debut. Christi Laite leads Wilmington in kills, cranking out 4.04 kills per set. Morgan Kline (2.21 kills/set) has also been a consistent player for Wilmington and also has a team-leading 12 service aces. As a team, the Seahawks average 3.04 blocks a set and have held their opponents to just 1.25 per set. Western Carolina (6-2) is coming off a 3-1 loss to Gardner-Webb. Cristina Nazario has averaged 10.28 assists/set and lined up Jordan Timmermann to dish out 2.97 kills/set. Caitlin Piechota is second on the team in kills (2.93 kills/set). Morgan Cochran heads the defense and tallies 6.10 digs/set. The Catamounts’ only other loss is a 3-0 setback to UNC Asheville who has posted a 5-3 record this season. The Bulldogs are led by Christine Lakatos in kills (3.29/set). Anna Moore also adds 2.90 kills/set. Asheville has had the upper hand over its opponents in blocking this season where it has recorded 81.5 blocks and limited its opponents to 52. The Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Chattanooga on Sept. 7.
Potential Star: Stamnes was on a three-game streak where she tallied double-digit kills. She registered 13 kills against Winthrop (Sept. 3), 17 vs. Alabama St. (Sept. 6), and 12 vs. UNC Greensboro (Sept. 7). In her last match against Murray St. she tossed in eight kills but if she continues to deliver for the Aggies she will play a big role in the upcoming tournament.
News & Notes:
- In the Ashford Suites Aggie-Spartan Invitational, McDaniel earned all-tournament honors after finishing with 38 kills, 21 digs, and a pair of blocks. It was her second consecutive all-tournament team honor this season after being named to the Radford all-tournament team on Aug. 31.
- A&T registered a match-high 53 kills against Alabama State.
- Stamnes is currently fifth in the MEAC in service aces, averaging 0.40 aces per set.
From the Coach
“We’ll pretty much use our entire bench this weekend. These tournaments are great opportunities to see everyone perform, especially the freshman.” A&T head volleyball coach Hal Clifton