SAVANNAH, Ga. (October 7, 2018) – Opponents continue to have problems with North Carolina A&T’s frontline as the Aggies used their right sides effectively to down Savannah State 3-1 (25-13, 25-11, 21-25, 25-16) Sunday afternoon at Tiger Arena in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference volleyball action.
N.C. A&T (8-9, 3-1 MEAC) moved to the top of a competitive MEAC Southern Division with their win over S.C. State on Friday and the win over SSU.
“I thought we played pretty well over the weekend,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton. “We were pretty consistent in serve receive which helped our offense. We executed our game plan, though we still made some mental errors which we have to clean up.”
N.C. A&T had eight total blocks while holding the Tigers to a -.082 hitting percentage. It is the lowest hitting percentage an Aggies opponent has had all season as N.C. A&T continues to lead the conference in lowest opponent hitting percentage.
Freshman right side Macenzie Richards posted a season-high .471 hitting percentage with nine kills and only one attack error on 17 attempts. She also had four blocks. Junior Leila Haynesworth had another accurate day with a .312 hitting percentage thanks to seven kills and only two attack errors on 16 attempts. She had a combined .400 hitting percentage for the week.
Sophomore Courteney Pitt had her 11thmatch of the season with double-figure kills as she led N.C. A&T with 14. Sophomore Edie Brewer finished with seven kills, 30 assists, six digs
“It’s tough to win on the road, but we pulled out two wins. We will get back in the gym and work on a few things,” said Clifton.
Clifton’s Aggies were superb in the first two sets. The Aggies had a .319 hitting percentage over the first two sets. Pitt got off to a fast start with a combined seven kills in the first two sets including five in the first. Richards had a combined six kills and one attack error on seven attempts as the Aggies took a two-set lead.
Trouble came to N.C. A&T in the third set, however. The Aggies committed four service errors and eight attack errors to assists the Tigers (2-14, 0-3 MEAC). Despite those issues, the Aggies did close to within two, 22-20, on kills from Brewer and Pitt. But a kill from Jamese Scott and an Aggies attack error put the Tigers back in control. The set ended on an Aggies service error.
N.C. A&T got back on track in the fourth set after a service error allowed SSU to cut their deficit to 15-13. But back-to-back kills from Pitt and Haynesworth was complemented by an attack error from Selma Gonzalez to give the Aggies an 18-13 advantage.
SSU’s Karrisa Tatum broke up the run with a kill, but the Aggies were quickly back at it. A 5-0 run included a service ace from freshman Andrea Laboy-Rivera, a kill and a block from Richards and a kill from Haynesworth to give the Aggies a 24-14 lead. Richards ended the match with her ninth kill.
“I am proud of the team for the way we competed overall,” said Clifton.
N.C. A&T returns to action 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12 at Moore Gymnasium as they will invite archrival N.C. Central to Greensboro for conference action.