EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T junior outside hitter Courteney Pitt led the team with a match-high 18 kills to go along with a .500 hitting percentage to lead the Aggies to a three-set sweep of the S.C. State Bulldogs, 25-21, 12, 17 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) volleyball opener for each team Friday night at Moore Gymnasium.
Pitt also recorded two service aces, three digs and two blocks. Freshman setter Addy Warfield led the team with 17 assists and added three digs.
Junior athlete Edie Brewer recorded 16 assists, six kills, six digs and three service aces. Sophomore libero Andrea Laboy-Rivera added six digs and sophomore right side hitter Macenzie Richards added four kills.
“Overall it was a good night for the Aggies,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton. “I thought we played well for most of the match. The good thing was that I felt like we were able to finish sets. That’s been the key focus as of late, good start, stronger finish to close out sets.”
The Aggies (3-12, 1-0 MEAC) played to a 14-14 tie in the first set. lead, 8-3, but South Carolina State scored 11 of the next 17 points to tie the set at 14. The Aggies were able to pull ahead by two, 18-16, on a Shabazz kill. S.C. State pulled to within one before the Aggies began to pull away with a 4-0 run. When Boyland Andrea committed attack error, the Aggies had a 22-17 lead.
The Aggies reached set point with a kill from Pitt and Brewer ended the set with a kill to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead.
S.C. State (0-13, 0-1 MEAC) took a 3-1 lead in the second stanza, but the Aggies battled back by scoring five of the next six points to take a two-point lead, 6-4, with a Brewer kill and back-to-back service aces from Brewer.
The Bulldogs scored the next two points to tie the set at six, but with Richards serving, N.C. A&T scored the next nine points after five Pitt kills and a Richards service ace. The Aggies went on to take their biggest lead of the set at 22-9 on a Brewer kill before Richards ended the set with the Aggies winning by 13 on her kill.
The Aggies held a 13-9 lead in Set 3. But SCSU cut the lead to 14-13 and threatened to extend the match to a fourth game. N.C. A&T remained steady, however, never relinquishing the lead. They led 18-16 when Brewer scored on a kill and an ace. Sandwiched in between was a kill from Makaylah Elliott to give the Aggies a 21-16 advantage.
After a Brewer service error got the Bulldogs to within four, the Aggies scored the next four points to close out the set and the match. The match ended on a thunderous kill by Elliott.
“Courteney was very strong offensively and our ability to stay in system helped our hitters take advantage of one on ones,” said Clifton.
The Bulldogs were led by Alexus Holt with seven kills, Jenai King with 15 assists and T’Meyah Burgess with eight digs.
The Aggies remain home against in-state archrival N.C. Central Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Moore Gymnasium. Clifton was complimentary of the Aggies crowd Friday night, but he wants a packed house against the rival Eagles.