TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Sophomore Aleena McDaniel led the North Carolina A&T volleyball team with 11 kills but faced a 3-0 (25-11, 20, 22) setback to Florida A&M, Sunday afternoon at the Al Lawson Center.
McDaniel was the only Aggie that recorded double-digit kills against a Rattler offense that placed three players in double-figure kills. A&T (2-17 overall) is 1-2 in the MEAC. Florida A&M improved to 7-6 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
The Rattlers surged to a 14-4 lead in the first set, which the Aggies were never able to respond. A&T struck first in the second set after opening the game with a kill from Brooke Stamnes, but Florida A&M answered with an 11-2 run to take an 11-3 advantage. The Aggies got back in the game and after trailing 16-12, McDaniel delivered two straight kills to cut the Rattlers lead to 16-14. A&T got within reach as Te'Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth provided the Aggies with two consecutive kills to slice Florida A&M’s advantage to 19-18. However, the Rattlers put together a 6-2 rally to win the set.
In the third set, both teams went back and forth. The Aggies finally broke through and took the 21-20 lead with a kill from Jillian Nobles. However the Rattlers only allowed the Aggies to score one more point as they controlled the rest of the set for the win.
McDaniel posted her sixth double-digit kills match of the season and has led the Aggies in kills six times. Maris Kellar added seven kills and committed only one error on 14 attempts. Nobles and Hawkins-Hollingsworth each finished with five kills. Ashley Johnson recorded 13 digs.
Yeisha Arcia finished with a game-high 17 kills and registered a .533 hitting percentage. The league’s top hitter, Ginna Lopez-Chavez added 10 kills and hit a game-high .562. Katherine Huanec also tallied 10 kills. Joanie Del Castillo recorded a game-high 27 digs.
“Florida A&M is a very good team,” head coach Hal Clifton. “We played them closer than we’ve played them in the past. Our progress attacking is nice to see. Our team has become well balanced and our hitting percentage shows that.”
The Aggies will host a four-game homestand beginning with Elon on Tuesday, Oct. 8. A&T returns back to MEAC action on Friday, Oct. 11 against S.C. State and Sunday, Oct. 13 against Savannah State. The Aggies will take on Gardner-Webb in a non-conference match on Tuesday, Oct. 15.