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Spartans Take Aim at Spartan-Aggie Invitational This Weekend

Spartan-Aggie Invitational Friday NSU at UNCG 7 p.m. Live Stats Live Video  Saturday NSU vs. Alabama State (at UNCG) 11 a.m. Live Stats    NSU at North Carolina A&T 7 p.m. Live Stats

Spartan-Aggie Invitational
Friday NSU at UNCG 7 p.m. Live Stats Live Video
Saturday NSU vs. Alabama State (at UNCG) 11 a.m. Live Stats
NSU at North Carolina A&T 7 p.m. Live Stats

NORFOLK, Va. – The Spartans of Norfolk State will face another set of Spartans on Friday when the NSU volleyball team takes on UNCG as part of the Spartan-Aggie Invitational this weekend down in Greensboro, N.C.

NSU will face UNCG at 7 p.m. on Friday, followed by a matchup with Alabama State on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Spartans then close out the tournament against North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m. The contest against Alabama State will be played at UNCG, which is co-hosting the tournament along with N.C. A&T.

The matches against UNCG (Fleming Gymnasium) and N.C. A&T (Moore Gymnasium) will be played on those schools’ respective home courts. Live stats will be available for all three matches on each host school’s website or at the links in the table above.

Norfolk State will look to break a six-game losing streak to start the season after getting swept in all three matches last weekend at the Campbell Invitational. North Carolina A&T owns a 1-3 record on the season, while Alabama State carries a 1-5 mark into its Thursday evening matchup at North Carolina Central. A win over High Point on Tuesday ran UNCG’s record to 6-2 overall this year.

Senior Angie Darcus has led NSU during the first six matches of the season, tallying 3.36 kills per set while also adding 2.77 digs and a team-leading eight service aces. The Spartans have also gotten offensive production out of senior Janay Frazier (1.68 kills) and sophomore Clarke Tyler (1.55 kills). Sophomore Hope Forsythe returned to the lineup after missing the first weekend and tallied 1.67 kills per set.

Junior Alex Irizarry leads all players with 3.14 digs per set, with senior Darcy Moore (2.95) and Darcus (2.77) also chipping in. Moore has compiled 7.59 assists per set, while junior Dominique Parker has posted a team-best seven blocks on the year.

As a team, the Spartans have an edge in digs per set (14.82 compared to 13.64 for opponents), although opponents have a big advantage in blocks (2.50-0.82) and services aces per set (2.64-1.36). The Spartans have also committed 7.36 attack errors per set.

MEAC Rankings
Darcus ranks third in the league in points per set (3.86) as well as fourth in kills (3.36) and seventh in service aces (0.36). Moore is the only other NSU player in the top 10 in the league, as she sits fifth in assists per set (7.59).

As a team, the Spartans rank third in the league in digs per set (14.82) as well as fifth in service aces (1.36) and seventh in kills (9.86), assists (9.32) and opponent hitting percentage (.233).

Around the League
UMES has started off the year 7-0, while no other MEAC school has more than two wins on the year. The Hawks have defeated both Delaware State and North Carolina A&T so far this season, while DSU also beat N.C. A&T in the only non-conference matchups so far this year between MEAC schools.

Series History
NSU has faced UNCG twice in its history, falling both times during the 2010 season, the first by a 3-2 score at home and the second by a 3-1 score at UNCG. The Spartans also defeated Alabama State by a 3-0 score in 2009 in their only ever meeting.

North Carolina A&T leads the all-time series with NSU, 19-9, as the teams met numerous times when NSU was in the MEAC Southern Division prior to the 2011 season. The last time the two teams met came in 2012 when NSU won a non-conference 3-2 matchup. The Spartans have won nine in a row over the Aggies dating back to the 2008 season.

Scouting All 3 Opponents
North Carolina A&T earned a 3-2 victory over Quinnipiac last weekend but also fell to MEAC Southern Division opponents Delaware State (3-2) and host UMES (3-0). Aleena McDaniel paces the Aggie attack with 3.00 kills per set, with Brooke Stamnes (2.44) and Jasmine Lindor (2.31) also chipping in. Kayla Finnerty, meanwhile, averages 8.14 assists per set. Defensively, the duo of Ashley Johnson (3.50 digs) and Alyssa Pitt (0.81 blocks) leads the way.

Alabama State posted a 3-0 victory over Savannah State during the first weekend of the year for its only win on the year. Kimeko Bennett leads the team with just 1.79 kills per set, with three other players also adding to the offensive attack. One of those players is Myla Marshall, who averages 1.74 kills per set and a team-best 1.11 blocks. Scout Wonsang leads all players with 2.64 digs per set, while the duo of Kori Kutsch and Riley MacDonald has split time at setter. The Hornets have used 17 players on the year.

Five different players average at least two kills per set for the Spartans of UNCG, led by Ashley Muench at 3.03 kills. Jasmine Jones chips in with 2.38 kills and a team-best 0.83 blocks, while Katherine Santiago has tallied 4.79 digs for a team that averages 17.00 digs per set. Julia Westerbur (2.55 kills), Jessica Brezwyn (2.45) and Alexis Mourier (2.04) also add some offensive firepower, while the duo of Allison Penner and Sara Hohman have split time at setter.

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