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A&T Faces Tough First-Round Challenge In Howard

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 11/14/2013
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North Carolina A&T head volleyball coach Hal Clifton has the Aggies back in the MEAC tournament in his third season at the helm. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information

No. 2 South North Carolina A&T Aggies (7-24, 6-4) vs. No. 3 North Howard (20-10, 8-4)
Date: Friday, Nov. 15 vs. Howard, Quarterfinals
Time: 10 a.m.
Facility: Physical Education Complex at Coppin State, Baltimore, Md.

Probable Starters: MB Aleena McDaniel (5-10, Sophomore, 2.65kills/set), RS Maris Kellar (5-8 Sophomore, 1.02 kills/set), S Liz Martino (5-7, Freshman, 5.70 assists/set), OH Brooke Stamnes (5-9, Sophomore, 2.50 kills/set), MH Te’Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth (6-0, Sophomore, 1.77 kills/set) and OH Jillian Nobles (6-0 Freshman, 1.59 kills/set)

 Aggies Overview:  The North Carolina A&T State University volleyball team returns back to the MEAC tournament for the first time since the 2007 season. The Aggies earned the second seed in the southern division and are a heading into the tournament with a 3-1 loss to S.C. State.  Despite the loss, A&T is optimistic as it prepares for its return to the conference tournament behind its leaders. McDaniel has led the Aggies in kills in 16 matches this season with 13 of those matches in double-digit kills. Stamnes is second on the attack and has averaged 2.50 kills per set. Hawkins-Hollingsworth has been the most accurate for the Aggies with a team-leading .220 hitting percentage. She is also third on the team in kills (1.77).

 Howard Overview: Howard has posted its best season under head coach Shaun Kupferberg with a 20-10 record, the best in the MEAC. Kupferberg, with the help of Katherine Broussard and Assata Conway helped the Bison turn its program around from a 1-23 record last year. Broussard is fourth in the MEAC in kills (3.27) and Conway is second on the team in kills (2.47). Destinee Harrison (1.72 kills/set) is second in the conference in hitting percentage (.339).  The Bison’s defense has limited their opponents to a .161 hitting percentage and they lead the league in digs (13.47) behind the efforts Allyson Lods (3.96) and Broussard (2.74). Howard enters the tournament with a 3-0 loss to Coppin State. Howard also enters the tournament with a 7-3 record in neutral games.

Potential Star: Hawkins-Hollingsworth has been a silent threat for the Aggies all season. She’s the most accurate hitter on the team and also leads A&T in blocks (58). If she has a breakthrough game and plays fearlessly, she can help be a game changer against Howard. 

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