Aggies Conclude North-South With Sweep of NSU
HAMPTON, Va. (September 23, 2017) – The Aggies volleyball team cruised in a 3-0 win (25-21, 17, 13) over Norfolk State in their final match of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference North-South Challenge at the Tidewater Volleyball Center on Saturday. In the morning, Hampton defeated N.C. A&T 3-1 (25-27, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19) as the Aggies concluded the conference challenge with a 2-1 record.
The Aggies good showing in the challenge will give them confidence in a future MEAC tournament matchup as the Aggies will have to face a northern division team in the first round.
N.C. A&T (7-9) used their second-highest hit percentage of the season (.384) and 10 team blocks to take down Norfolk State (3-10). Senior Samara Brown led the Aggies with nine kills on a .333 hitting percentage. Freshman Edie Brewer gave the Aggies the extra boost in their final match of the MEAC North-South Challenge.
Brewer paced the attack with seven kills with only one attack error for a .400 hitting percentage. She also had 14 assists, five digs, two total blocks and two service aces. Sophomore Camille Uadiale protected the net with seven blocks. Senior Alyssa Pitt added five blocks, a career-high nine assists and four kills. Senior Jasmine Lindor had five kills and three blocks.
Brown began terrorizing the Spartans with four kills in the first set. Her first kill gave the Aggies a 6-5 lead as part of four consecutive points. That was followed by a Lindor kill, an attack error by the Spartans and a kill by Brown to give the Aggies a 9-5 advantage. The Aggies maintained the lead for the rest of the set, but the Spartans did cut the lead to 23-21 before the Pitt sisters, first Courteney and then Alyssa, produced kills to end the set.
Norfolk State had 10 errors in the second set and trailed the entire way. Four Aggies each had two kills apiece and their defense was clicking with five blocks. Uadiale shined with three assisted blocks and the N.C. A&T offense hit for .400 on 11 kills. With a 15-13 advantage midway through the set, the Aggies used an 8-1 run to jump ahead of the Spartans 23-14. Sophomore Leila Haynesworth hammered the final two points for the Aggies from assists by freshman Milanna Morgan and Brewer.
In the third, Norfolk State held a 6-5 advantage before the Aggies rattled off an 11-1 run to take command of the set and ultimately the match.
“I am really proud of how we bounced back against Norfolk State in the afternoon match,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton. “Coming away with a 2-1 record is still a good effort. We learned a lot this weekend, and we will continue to grow our volleyball IQ.”
In the morning contest, Alyssa Pitt had an Aggie match-high 10 kills for a .300 hitting percentage against the Pirates. Brewer contributed 24 assists, eight kills, seven digs and three blocks while Courteney Pitt tallied nine kills. Uadiale had four blocks and Lindor served up a pair of aces with two blocks.
The Aggies took the opening set as Alyssa Pitt had four kills on six attempts. Block assists from Uadiale and Courteney Pitt moved the Aggies to within two at 24-22. Despite Hampton calling timeout, the Aggies still tied the set with a Pirate attack error and an Alyssa Pitt kill. The Pirates regained the lead at 25-24 on a Micah Leavell kill. The Aggies avoided losing the set on another Alyssa Pitt kill and then closed out the set thanks to a ball handling error and an attack from Hampton.
In the second, Courteney Pitt’s kill tied the set at 20 before Hampton rolled with three kills and two errors by N.C. A&T to close out the set for Hampton. Courteney Pitt had the Aggies only block and led the offense with four of their 10 kills in the third set. In the fourth set, Hampton trailed 6-5 and then used an 8-1 run to take a commanding 13-6 lead. N.C. A&T had four blocks that led to nine HU errors and Alyssa Pitt fired off four kills.
Hampton led 23-17 before N.C. A&T scored two final points before eventually losing the set and the match. The Aggies defense was powered by Brown’s eight digs and two blocks. Junior Megan Wiggins and Morgan had seven digs apiece. Brewer and Brown were named to the MEAC North-South Challenge all-tournament team.
“Overall, we had a good weekend”, Clifton said. “Even though we lost to Hampton, I felt like we played some very solid points. I am happy with our non-conference portion of the season. We had some great wins and some tough losses. We improved in so many areas and are still getting better at the things we need to. I feel like it has prepared us to go into conference play.”
The Aggies open MEAC play on Tuesday at McDougald-McLendon Arena as they take on rival N.C. Central at 6 p.m.