N.C. A&T volleyball team building momentum going into MEAC tournament

Chris Samuel , theScore Reporter

After a not so hot start for the Lady Aggies volleyball team they have won the last nine of 10 games and sit only one game back of first place in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC).

The team started the season 0-8 before winning their first game against Gardner-Webb at the Wofford Invitational. The  Lady Aggies followed their win by beating Alabama A&M Bulldogs, three sets to none in Spartanburg, SC.

A quick rough patch happened again for the volleyball team as they went 0-3 in the UNCW Hamptons Inn Classic losing to Western Carolina, Drake, and UNC Wilmington.

Growing pains are included with this team which only has three seniors and the team learning how to play as a unit. 

Head Coach Hal Clifton has been known for turning seasons around during his tenure at North Carolina A&T.

N.C. A&T did just that, when they got a conference win over South Carolina State in late September. 

As of Oct. 26th, The team is currently on a nine-game winning streak in the MEAC Conference.

The Lady Aggies have dominated conference play, with four out of nine games ending with a three set to none performance. Not only is the team finishing strong, but the first sets are also when the Aggies dominate. In five of the last nine games, N.C. A&T had won the first set.

A key contributing factor to the Lady Aggies’ recent success is their high numbers in kills and blocks. This formula slows opponents down quick and forces them into a deep hole.  

Going into the week of Oct 21. (Homecoming week), the Lady Aggies won their last nine games which all happen to be versus conference opponents before losing to Howard on Oct. 27. 

The team has five more regular-season games before the MEAC Tournament including an away game Nov.1 against N.C. Central in an anticipated rematch from their close affair on Oct. 1.

The streaking Lady Aggies have not had much pressure during their winning stretch. On top of the wide margins of victory, N.C. A&T has been statistically dominating the competition. 

In the MEAC, the Aggies are ranked top two in hitting percentage, opponents hitting percentage, assists, kills, and blocks.

Fortunately for N.C. A&T they have the MEAC’s leading blocker Shaylynn Hall and the MEAC’s digs leader, Andrea Laboy-Rivera. Their efforts plus consistent support from their teammates, continue to make them difficult to beat.

As the season winds down, the N.C. A&T’s overall record stands at 11-13 (9-1 MEAC) with four games remaining and all of them being rematches with conference opponents.

The Aggies are on pace to be the top seed at the start of the MEAC Tournament which is scheduled from Nov. 22-24th in Washington, D.C.