Date(s): Saturday, Oct. 1-Sunday, Oct. 2
Opponent: Towson Tigers
Time(s): 1 p.m., 1 p.m
Location: SECU Arena, Towson, Md.
A&T Team Leaders:
Kills: Niaya Sawtelle (4.11 per set)
digs: Morgan Allen (3.41 per set)
Assists: Chiara Napoli (4.52 per set)
Blocks: Maya Johnson (0.78 per set)
Hitting Percentage: Maya Johnson (.230)
A&T CAA Leaders (Top-10)
Kills: Niaya Sawtelle (4.11 per set) – 2nd
digs: Morgan Allen (3.41 per set) – 8th
NORTH CAROLINA A&T (4-10, 0-4 CAA): North Carolina A&T has a tough challenge this weekend as the Aggies face not only the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) preseason favorite but also an undefeated CAA preseason favorite in the Towson Tigers. The Aggies have faced the upper Echelon of NCAA volleyball before, facing Penn State in the NCAA tournament in the spring of 2021. They defeated Virginia Tech in five last season and lost a tough three-setter to Wake Forest earlier this season.
Last week, the Aggies lost two matches to Hofstra at Moore Gymnasium, losing in three on Saturday and four on Sunday. Sophomore To Naiya Sawte averaged 4.14 kills, 1.14 digs and 0.57 blocks in seven sets played against the Pride. Fellow sophomore Hannah Howell averaged 2.86 kills, 1.29 digs and 0.29 blocks. Sawtelle has now reached double-figure kills in six straight matches.
Head Coach Hal Clifton is in his 12th season as the leader of the Aggies and has posted a 113-196 overall record. However, Clifton has led the Aggies to a 77-63 (.550) record in the previous five seasons. In addition, A&T has recorded at least a .500 winning percentage over the past four seasons.
TOWSON TIGERS (14-0, 4-0 CAA): Towson is not ranked in the top-25 in the most recent American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, but the Tigers did receive 37 votes. The Tigers have won 11 of their 14 matches in three sets, including all four conference matchups.
The Tigers also have a win over then No. 7 Pittsburgh in four sets on Sept. 10. Towson has won 17 regular-season matches dating back to last season, with the Tigers last regular-season loss coming to James Madison in three on Nov. 6.
Nina Cajic leads the Tigers with 3.11 kills per set. She is the reigning CAA and national AVCA player of the week as she led Towson to a 2-0 weekend with 5.33 kills per set on a .698 hitting percentage. On Sunday, the junior outside hitter matched a career-high with 18 kills and posted a .667 hitting percentage to help Towson defeat Stony Brook in straight sets. In the weekend’s opening match, Cajic recorded a match-high 14 kills without committing an error, hitting a blistering .737. Cajic has reached double-figure kills in three straight contests and eight times this fall.
Don Metil enters his 10th season leading the Tigers and guided Towson to its third consecutive CAA title and NCAA tournament berth last season. Towson had a 36-match regular-season winning streak snapped last season.
THE SERIES: This will be the first meeting between the two schools.