Aggies, Eagles Go After MEAC South Superiority
North Carolina A&T (8-9, 3-1 MEAC) vs. N.C. Central (4-13, 2-2 MEAC)
Date: Friday, Oct. 12
Time: 6 p.m.
Facility: Moore Gymnasium
@ncatvolleyball: Friday night should be fun at Historic Moore Gymnasium. The Aggies are in first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Southern Division and their chief nemesis, N.C. Central will be in town trying to spoil the Aggies good time. N.C. A&T moved into first place thanks to a 2-0 weekend that included a three-set victory over S.C. State last Friday before a four-set victory over Savannah State made the Aggies 3-1 in the South. The Aggies continue to make it a chore to score on them. N.C. A&T’s last four opponents have had a sub .200 hitting percentage. The Aggies are 7-3 when teams hit under .200 against them this season. N.C. A&T leads the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.155). The Aggies have also been able to effectively get their outsides involved. Sophomore Courteney Pitt leads the conference in kills per set (3.92) while junior Leila Haynesworth has caught fire of late. In her last six contests, she is averaging 3.0 kills per set while posting a .236 hitting percentage. Freshman Macenzie Richards had one of her better matches last week with nine kills and a .471 hitting percentage in the win over SSU.
THE N.C. CENTRAL EAGLES: The MEAC South will be hard to figure out this season and the NCCU Eagles play right into that confusion. The Eagles are coming off a three-set loss to Davidson on Tuesday but prior to that, they defeated conference foe S.C. State in three sets but lost to Savannah State in four sets. The same Eagles team that lost to SSU, beat Bethune-Cookman in five before losing to Florida A&M in four. In a wide-open race for the regular-season divisional title, the Eagles will come to Greensboro with blockers who will make life difficult for Aggie hitters. Whitney White is second in the conference in blocks per set (1.13) while Morgan Goodman is fifth (0.90) in the same category. In fact, the Eagles lead the conference in blocks (2.25). The Eagles are just ninth in the conference in hitting percentage (.112).
Stepping Up: Sophomore Edie Brewer missed the Aggies loss to Florida A&M on Sept. 28 because of injury. She returned two days later against Bethune-Cookman and recorded three kills, 36 assists, seven digs and three blocks. In Brewer’s three matches since returning from her injury, she is averaging 8.20 assists, 1.90 digs,1.30 kills, 0.40 services aces and 0.30 blocks per set.
News & Notes:
- Freshman libero Andrea Laboy-Rivera is helping the Aggies offensively and defensively. Laboy-Rivera is sixth in the MEAC in services aces per set (0.38). She is second in the league in digs per set (4.28). The Aggies lead the conference in service aces and rank 14thin the country.
- N.C A&T head coach Hal Clifton is 7-7 against the Eagles during his eight-year stint at N.C. A&T including a sweep of the Eagles last season. The Aggies and the Eagles have gone to five sets six times in that span with the Aggies winning twice.
- The Aggies will have two weeks off from competition before facing Florida A&M in Tallahassee on Oct. 26. It will be the second extended layoff the Aggies have had this season. N.C. A&T had 10 days off after losing to Gardner-Webb on Sept. 11 because three of their matches were canceled due to Hurricane Florence. When the Aggies returned to action they defeated Norfolk State, 3-1 on Sept. 21.
- Pitt leads the MEAC in points per set (4.45) with 239 kills, 19 service aces and 23 blocks. Pitt is 57thin the nation in the same category.