Monday, October 10, 2016

North Carolina A&T Aggies Fall to Florida A&M Rattlers

GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- North Carolina A&T fell 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-12) to Florida A&M in a battle for first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference southern division on Sunday at Moore Gymnasium. The Rattlers improved to 8-11 overall and 5-0 in conference while the Aggies dropped to 6-10 overall and 3-1 in the MEAC.

"It was a tough loss today. Florida A&M played us very well and forced us to play catch up all day," said head coach Hal Clifton. "We just gave away too many points. It's disappointing, but we still have a lot of season left and we can learn a lot from this match as we move forward."

Florida A&M's offense was effective throughout the match, recording a hitting percentage of.326. N.C. A&T, meanwhile, was not as efficient on the offensive end. The Aggies never finished a set hitting better than .100. Junior Samara Brown had nine kills with five attack errors for a .160 hitting percentage along with a solo block.

The Aggies picked up a 7-6 lead in Set 3 after an attack error by Nicole Abreu before the Rattlers went on a 13-0 run to take a 19-7 lead. The lead grew to 14 at 24-10 before kills by freshman Leila Haynesworth and Pitt brought the Aggies closer before an attack error by junior Jasmine Lindor ended the set and match.

The Rattlers momentum going into the third set really started in the second set. A block assist from fifth-year senior Te'Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth and Pitt cut FAMU's lead to 15-12 and put the Aggies on a 4-0 run. With all the momentum seemingly on the Aggies side, the Rattlers scored the next three points to force an Aggies timeout. A service error and an attack error helped the Aggies get to within five at 19-14, but the Rattlers never made an error after that point and went on to win the set.

The Rattlers became the first MEAC team this season to secure more than 40 kills against the Aggies as they finished the match with 10. FAMU's serving also troubled the Aggies as the team finished with 10 service aces. Yvette Maria Garcia led the Rattlers with 14 kills. Nicole Abreau recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs.

Action continues for the Aggies on Wednesday, Oct. 12, as they travel to Norfolk State for a 6 p.m. matchup in Joseph Echols Hall. N.C. A&T beat the Spartans in three close sets.



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