GREENSBORO-Sophomore middle hitter Jeana Daniels led the team for the sixth straight game in kills, but the North Carolina A&T Aggies struggled against a strong Florida A&M club on Friday night at Corbett Sports Center. Florida A&M has been a serious contender for the MEAC title for the last decade-and-half, and have defeated the Aggies in every match since 1999. Friday night's match, unfortunately, was no different.
The Aggies (1-25, 1-6) were swept by the Rattlers (9-12, 7-1), by 25-9, 10, 11. Florida A&M had a .561 attack percentage, making only six attack errors. N. C. A&T on the other hand had a .065 attack percentage and 13 attack errors and 17 total kills. Daniels was responsible for nine of the 17 A&T kills. The Aggies also struggled in passing and answering the Rattlers' serves, making a season-high 15 service reception errors.
"We started out really slow tonight," said Head Coach Hal Clifton. "We struggled in a couple of rotations and just couldn't find a rhythm."
The Aggies jumped on the board first in Set 1, as sophomore outside hitter Tatiana Cooper notched a kill to open the game. N.C. A&T had a 3-2 lead, but then Florida A&M went on a 16-0 run powered by seven kills, four service aces and five A&T attack errors. Daniels and Cooper helped the Aggies gain a little momentum at the end of the set, as they collected a trio of kills between them.
The Aggies had a 3-2 lead in the second set, but the Rattlers offense overpowered them. Florida A&M had 16 kills in the second set, while N.C. A&T had four, two of which were from Daniels.
The Aggies performed better in the third set, collecting eight kills and just three errors. They had a .287 hitting percentage in the final set, making it their best game of the match. Daniels had four kills in nine total attacks. Florida A&M was also strong in the final set, as they had 13 kills and no errors. An attack error by the Aggies gave them the winning match point.
The Aggies will play their last home game of the season on Sunday at noon at Corbett Sports Center against Bethune-Cookman. The team will be honoring senior libero Bridget McCaskill at the game. They will cap off the 2011 season on the road the following weekend, taking on Savannah State and S.C. State.