BUIES CREEK - Despite playing one of their top offensive matches,
the North Carolina A&T volleyball team lost in five to Campbell 23-25,
26-24, 25-18, 18-25, 15-9 at the Gore Arena at Pope Convocation Center.
A&T (0-17) recorded season highs in kills (58), service
aces (19) and assists (55). It was the second time that the Aggies have played
a five-set match this season, after losing in five to Bryant on Sept. 1.
"Offensively, I think we made great strides today. I was pleased with our performance at the net,"
said A&T head coach Hal Clifton.
"Our passers got a little more settled in. We were able to be a lot more
consistent, which made it better for our attackers. We got one-on-one situations we were able to
Middle hitter Aprill McRae finished the match with 14 kills,
while middle hitter Jeana Daniels had 13 and freshman Aleena McDaniel posted
10. The Aggies also had three players
post double-doubles in the contest, as Chelsea Fox had 11 digs and 26 assists,
Ali Way had 14 digs and 19 assists and McDaniel had 10 kills and 11 digs.
"We tried a new lineup tonight and we were able to
distribute the ball evenly, which is nice.
I feel like one of the strengths of this team is that we have different
people that can attack the ball and terminate the ball," Clifton said. "We don't have to ride one person too
much. We're pretty well balanced, and
that's one of the things we were shooting for with this lineup-how can we
attack different positions on the court and keep the defense on their heels?"
In set four, the Aggies used the play of Evans, Daniels and
McRae to dominate. The three combined for 10 kills and no attack errors on 11 total
attempts. A kill by Daniels gave the
Aggies the 22-11 lead. The Camels (7-11) went on a 4-0 run to
pressure the Aggies, but a kill by Stamnes ended the threat and tied the match
"We had a lot more confidence in our abilities today. Set three kind of ran away, but we knew we
could compete with them because we did in the first two sets," Clifton
said. "We kind of got on a roll in the
fourth set. We got some match-ups that
we liked in the fourth set, which worked for us."
In the decisive set, the Aggies used a McDaniel kill and two
McDaniel aces to take a 3-0 lead. Campbell's Jessica Groen's second kill during
a 9-2 run gave the Camels a 9-5 lead. Kills by Daniels and Fox along with an
ace by Maris Kellar put the Aggies back to within one. But Campbell's Sam Zuber
pulled the Camels through by scoring three of their final six points.
"Unfortunately they rotated a little bit in the fifth set
and we didn't get quite the match-ups that we wanted or that we hoped for in
that set. Overall the girls played
really well today. I was happy with what
they did," Clifton said.
The Aggies will host High Point at 2 p.m. on Sunday, making
their Moore Gymnasium debut. The Aggies
will host Wofford on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and open up MEAC competition against
archrival N.C. Central on Friday at 7 p.m.
"Tomorrow, we've got to be ready. High Point's got some big wins already this
season. We're going to have to play
very well, and we're going to have to do the same things that we did today
against them tomorrow," Clifton said. "Hopefully we can get a little bit better
result. The process is working. The
girls are sticking by it. We're going to
have to be on our toes tomorrow and be ready to play."
The Aggies got to a great start Saturday. An attack error by
Campbell gave the Aggies a 17-16 lead. A McRae ace forced the Camels to call
timeout after A&T took a 22-19 lead. The Camels would get to within one,
24-23, on a Katelyn Layden kill. But Evans put the set away with a kill.
Notes: The Aggies
haven't played in two five-set matches in a season since 2008...The last time the
Aggies had three players with 10 or more kills in a match was in their victory
against Savannah State in Corbett Sports Center on Oct. 16, 2011.