GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T volleyball team put up a great effort but it wasn’t enough as they fell 3-1 to Florida A&M (25-13, 17, 29-27, 12) in a MEAC match Friday evening at Moore Gymnasium.
The Rattlers (12-6 overall, 7-0 MEAC) dominated the first two sets as they surged to large leads.
"We made some last minute adjustments before the match but we went forward," head coach Hal Clifton said. "I thought we played well. I felt like the girls really competed and played with a lot of heart. It took us awhile to get adjusted to the new lineup but we finally did."
But A&T (5-22, 4-3 MEAC) didn’t go down without a fight and turned the tables on FAMU in the third set. The Rattlers tied the game at 8 but the Aggies scored three straight points courtesy of a pair of service aces from Brooke Stamnes and a kill from Maris Kellar to reclaim the advantage, 11-3. After both teams exchanged points, the Rattlers pushed to a 16-13 lead after scoring six consecutive points. The Aggies kept the rally going when they returned the favor and used a 6-1 run to take the 19-17 edge.
Both teams traded points as the set went down to the wire. The game was tied at 24, but Te'Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth handed down a kill to push the score to 25-24. The Rattlers and the Aggies were both determined as neither team was able to score consecutive points until two FAMU errors gave A&T the win in the third set.
“I was in pain in the third set but I had to suck it up,” Hawkins-Hollingsworth said. “I had to be there for my team. We weren’t going to give up at that moment. We knew we had to play hard, give it our all, and we did.”
A&T wasn’t able to sustain that momentum in the fourth set as the Rattlers cruised to a 14-5 lead.
Hawkins-Hollingsworth and Stamnes led the Aggies with nine kills. Liz Martino finished with a team-leading 25 assists.
The Aggies will host Bethune-Cookman on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m., at Moore Gymnasium for a conference match.
“We have to forget about this match and worry about Bethune next,” Hawkins-Hollingsworth said. “We’re going to have good practice in the morning by watching film, getting smart shots, finding open shots on the floor, and all the things necessary to win.”