GREENSBORO – Sophomore Aleena McDaniel led the North Carolina A&T volleyball team with 16 kills and two other Aggies finished with double-doubles but fell short 3-1 (25-27, 24-26, 25-23, 25-15) against Gardner-Webb in its Dig Pink match, Tuesday evening.
McDaniel tallied her ninth double-figures match of the season and added eight digs. Brooke Stamnes notched her fifth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 14 digs over the Runnin’ Bulldogs (12-11). Chelsea Fox added 18 assists and 10 digs for her first double-double in 2013. The Aggies fell to 4-19.
The match featured 15 ties between the teams but A&T found it tough to maintain its lead throughout the match.
“We have to work more on getting ahead and staying ahead,” head coach Hal Clifton said. “We can’t make unforced errors when sets are tight like these were tonight. I’m glad at the way we responded. Although we lost the first two sets by a few points it’s still a good direction for us to go in.”
The first set belonged to the Aggies who held a 23-19 lead over Gardner-Webb following a kill from Stamnes. But in a turn of events, the Runnin’ Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to take the 24-23 edge over A&T. The Aggies kept their composure and answered with two straight points to regain the lead 25-24. An Aggies attack error and a Runnin' Bulldog service ace swung the set in Gardner-Webb's favor, however.
In the second set, the Aggies found themselves rallying behind GWU’s lead. After trailing 17-11, A&T used a 7-1 run sparked by two Stamnes service aces to tie the game at 18. The set remained tie, this time at 24, before two straight Runnin' Bulldog kills gave Gardner-Webb a two-set lead.
After being down two games, A&T answered in the third set and held the lead for the entire set. The Aggies led by as many as seven, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs got within reach and cut their lead to 23-22. The Aggies scored their final two points off a GWU error and kill from Stamnes.
GWU controlled the fourth set and never let the Aggies take an advantage. A&T did cut GWU’s lead to 18-15 courtesy of a Maris Kellar kill but that was the last point the Aggies scored as the Runnin’ Bulldogs ended the set on a 7-0 run.
A&T will visit UNC-Asheville on Tuesday, Oct. 17 in a non-conference match at 7 p.m.