ORANGEBURG, S.C. - The North Carolina A&T volleyball
team has mastered competitiveness. The Aggies have lost in three sets only once
in conference play this season as compared to six times in 2011. Now, the next
step for head coach Hal Clifton and his Aggies is to put a together a complete
Once again, the Aggies played well in spots on Friday, but
they could not complete the task as S.C. State defeated the Aggies 3-1 (25-21,
25-14, 19-25, 25-20) at Dukes Gymnasium. The Aggies had two players reach double
figures in kills, but their offense suffered from not being able to attack from
the net. As a result, the Aggies put
together a .071 hitting percentage. Despite the low hitting percentage, the
Aggies had an excellent opportunity to win additional sets.
"We had moments of good play, but we have yet to put it all
together," said Clifton. "We lost track of key hitters, and we struggled to
keep the pressure on them in order to make mini runs."
After losing the first two sets, the Aggies trailed 12-10 in
the third. A&T then hit one of those modes Clifton wishes it could have for
the majority of matches. The Aggies ran off five straight points, highlighted
by a kill from freshman Te'Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth. That lead increased to
22-14 on Jeana Daniels kill. Two attack errors and a ball handling error helped
the Bulldogs post four straight points to pull to within four.
Block assists from junior Aprill McRae and senior Andrea
Evans stopped S.C. State's resurgence. An Evans kill and an attack error by the
Bulldogs gave A&T the set. A&T used its third-set victory to take an
8-5 lead in the fourth.
Taylor Bailey helped the Bulldogs rally to take a 17-16
lead. An attack error by Brooke Stamnes gave S.C. State a 22-18 lead. After an
Aggies timeout, Stamnes brought the Aggies to within three. But A&T was not
able to get any closer as Desire Waller slammed down her 21st kill
to end the match.
"We struggled tonight trying to find our rhythm in serve
receive and digging to target," said Clifton. "We put a lot of pressure on our
pin hitters to attack far from the net."
Hawkins-Hollingsworth finished with a season-high 10 kills
on a season-best .231 hitting percentage. Stamnes recorded her second straight
double-double and her fourth of the season with 10 kills and 10 digs. The
Aggies (0-24, 0-4 MEAC) will try to pick up win No. 1 as they travel to
Savannah, Ga., to play Savannah State Sunday at 1 p.m.