GREENSBORO – Sophomore Aleena McDaniel finished with a double-double to help the North Carolina A&T volleyball team to a 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 18, 22) win against Bethune-Cookman in a conference match, Sunday afternoon at Moore Gymnasium.
The win was pivotal for A&T (6-22 overall, 5-3 MEAC) who earned a spot in the MEAC Tournament. The Aggies haven’t appeared in the conference tournament since 2007. Bethune fell to 6-24 overall and 5-3 in the MEAC.
"This win was big for us," head coach Hal Clifton said. "Going to the conference tournament is a great accomplishment but we wanted to do this for Chelsea. She's put in so much work in over the years and we're glad we could honor her today and get this win. It was a battle but I'm proud of how the girls bounced back from the first set. They all had great performances today."
McDaniel led all players with 15 kills and recorded 12 digs. Her double-double was the fifth of the season and sixth of her career. Te'Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth tallied a career-high 11 kills followed by nine from Brooke Stamnes. Maris Kellar added eight kills and Chelsea Fox recorded seven. Fox, the Aggies lone senior was honored before Sunday’s match in a Senior Day ceremony.
A&T dropped a close first set, but that didn’t destruct their game plan as it continued to push through the entire match.
The Aggies controlled most of the second set, until the Wildcats tied the game at 17. A&T broke loose and ended the set on an 8-3 run. In the third set the Aggies stayed out front, but BCU found its way back in the game after it tied the set at 18. A&T put together a 7-0 rally to win the set.
The fourth set was a battle for each team as they went point for point. A&T was down 18-14 but scored three straight points to cut the Wildcats lead to 18-17. BCU held the advantage until Stamnes recorded a kill to tie the game at 20. Two BCU errors gave the Aggies the 22-20 edge. After exchanging points, the Wildcats registered a kill to slice the Aggies lead to 24-22 but a kill from McDaniel sealed the match for the Aggies.
A&T will close out its home schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 5 when it hosts East Carolina at 7 p.m.