Combined reports from Alabama State Athletics and N.C. A&T Athletics
MONTGOMERY, Ala. |The ISTAP Collegiate Cup tournament wrapped up on Saturday on the campus of Alabama State with a thrilling matchup between N.C. A&T and Alabama State. The Aggies defeated Grambling State 3-1 (18-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-19) Saturday morning at Lockhart Gymnasium to reach the final and almost jump started their season with a 3-0 start, which would have been their first 3-0 start since 2001. The Hornets had other ideas after previously knocking off Savannah State on Friday night in the opening round.
Alabama State found itself down two sets headed to the locker room at intermission; however, they bounced back by winning the next sets to take a 3-2 (20-25,26-28,28-26,25-15,15-10) victory over the Aggies on Saturday night.
“What a great environment,” Alabama State University head coach Penny Lucas-White said. “I love our home fans, and I believe their energy just kind of permeated the whole building and it helped us tremendously.”
Ni’yesha Brown led three players in double figure kills, breaking her career best mark set just last night, as she finished a match-high 19 kills and nine digs. Krysta Medearis finished with 16 kills in the win, while Briana Dorsey chipped in with 11 for Alabama State (2-0).
Ni’yesha forces a fourth set 💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/kX7tj1mWV5
— ASU Volleyball (@BamaStateVB) August 26, 2017
“I am so proud of the way we played and especially the way Brittany Brown played,” White said. “She came off the bench and she passed, she served, she blocked, she did it all. Kayla (Torres) came in and did a phenomenal job. Everyone on the bench and the court, everyone was able to pull us back in the game.
“Tonight was an all out team effort. We are deeper than we have been in the past and that is incredible to know that if something is not working, we are not going to be afraid to try something else.”
Seniors Alyssa Pitt and Jasmine Lindor and freshman Edie Brewer had superb weekends for N.C. A&T. Pitt posted a .355 hitting percentage in the tournament and averaged 3.17 kills and 1.0 blocks in 12 sets played. Lindor’s hitting percentage was .375, and she averaged 1.6 kills and 1.3 blocks. Brewer’s hitting percentage also exceeded .300 with a .358 hitting percentage over 12 sets, while averaging 2.0 kills, 6.3 assists and 1.5 digs.
“All in all, it was a good weekend for us,” said N.C. A&T coach Hal Clifton. “It allowed us to see where we are as a team and allowed us to see areas where we need to improve to be a top contender for a MEAC title.”
How It Happened
- Alabama State fell behind early, dropping the first two sets and faced a pair of match points by North Carolina A&T in the third set. However, Alabama State tied the match at 26-all on a Brown kill en route to winning the last three points of the set to cut the deficit to 2-1.
- Alabama State went on a 7-2 run in the fourth set to take a 14-7 lead, before opening the lead to as big as 11 (22-11) on a Medearis kill to run away with the set 25-16 to tie the match at 2-all.
- After North Carolina A&T took a 4-3 lead in the fifth and final set, Alabama State went on 7-1 run to take a 10-5 lead midway through the set. North Carolina A&T went on a small run to trim the deficit to 14-10 before Dorsey put the match away with a kill.
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Eagles and Bears square up in O'Kelly Riddick Stadium.