Volleyball travels to N.C. A&T on Tuesday

Team (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)
Team (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. - After falling in a trio of four-set matches at the James Madison Invitational, Campbell heads to North Carolina A&T for a mid-week tune up on Tuesday before entering the Big South slate.The contest at Moore Gym in Greensboro, N.C., is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Live stats can be found on the volleyball schedule page of GoCamels.com. In-game updates can be found by following @GoCamelsVB on Twitter.

Campbell is 2-1 in mid-week matchups with a pair of home victories against East Carolina (3-1) and UNC Wilmington (3-2). Elon topped the Camels 3-0 on Sept. 3 on its home floor.

Big South competition opens for the Camels on Friday with a trip to rival High Point at 7 p.m. Fans can watch the match on the free Big South Network.

- The Camels are 5-0 in five-set matches. Campbell came back from match point, 23-24, during the fourth frame vs. San Jose St. and Georgetown to win the decisive fifth set.
- The Camels rank fifth in the nation in digs per set at 17.36 and are led by Mary Crema, who ranks fifth nationally and paces the Big South at 5.21. Hein (2.79), Layden (2.67)  and Wilson (2.38) are all back-row contributors.
- Jessica Groen leads the offensive attack with 2.67 kills per set. The presence of Alexis Hein (2.38), Lindsey Coats (2.31), Lorin Thomas (1.98) and Katelyn Layden (1.75) have provided the Camels with consistent offense threats.
- A 9.23 assists per set average has been totaled by Heather Wilson, who earned Big South Player of the Week honors on Sept. 9.
- The net presence has been created by Thomas and Coats with 0.90 and 0.76 blocks per frame, respectively.
- The 7-2 start was the program's best since 2001, when it began 8-2. The mark tied for the third-best start to a season.


Camels All-Time vs. N.C. A&T: 24-5
Series History: The Camels are 14-3 against the Aggies on their home court and hold a 24-5 advantage in the all-time series, while securing victories in the last five meetings. Campbell additionally has an 8-2 lead in games played at North Carolina A&T. The two neutral-court match ups have gone to the Camels.
Scouting Report: The Aggies are 1-14 on the campaign with a home victory over Alabama State. North Carolina A&T has taken sets from Winthrop (2-3) and Murray State (1-3). Aleena McDaniel and Brooke Stamnes pace the Aggies' offense with each totaling 2.35 kills per set. The ball is distributed on the attack by Liz Martino with 5.08 assists per set. A 3.90 dig average has been compiled by Ashley Johnson. Te'Borah Hawkins has contributed a team-best 0.64 blocks per set. Head coach Hal Clifton is in third season guiding the North Carolina A&T program.

First-year head coach Greg Goral has helped the Camels surpass their 7-24 mark from last year with an 8-4 start. Campbell has posted a perfect 5-0 mark in five-set matches with wins over William & Mary, San Jose St., Indiana St., Georgetown and UNC Wilmington\. This is just the fourth time the program has started 7-2 or better with the only other first-year coach to accomplish the feat being T.J. Meager in 1998.

Heather Wilson, a three-year starter for the Camels, has amassed 2,716 assists, the second most in school history. She passed Sarah Dillon (2003-06) with 2,611 assists at the JMU Invitational. Jenny Bueno (1992-95) stands atop the list with 4,439. The Concord, N.C., native is also sixth all-time with 7.12 assists per set.

Five different Camels have been named to all-tournament teams through four events. Mary Crema holds two honors from William & Mary and James Madison. Lorin Thomas received recognition following the Tribe Invite. The Hampton Inn of Holly Springs Invitational MVP was Heather Wilson, while Alexis Hein was selected all-tournament. An all-tournament honor was earned by Lindsey Coats at the Eagle Challenge.

Mary Crema was named the Big South defensive player of the week for the second time on Sept. 23 after taking the first award of the season. She tallied 4.35 digs per set, while being honored to the JMU Invite All-Tournament Team. Crema opened the season totaling 5.77 digs per set. The Tribe Invite All-Tournament recipient reached her first 31-dig performance vs. San Jose St. and added 29 digs at William & Mary. 

Opponents are unable to focus on limiting the effectiveness of just a single hitter, because coach Greg Goral has five offensive threats that can step up in any give match. Jessica Groen has tallied 2.67 kills per set, but Alexis Hein, Lorin Thomas, Lindsey Coats and Katelyn Layden are all consistent attackers hovering around 2.00 kills per set.

Mary Crema has notched a pair of career-best 31-dig performances against San Jose St. and Indiana State. She was the first  Camel to hit the 30-dig plateau since Sarah Hill vs. Mercer (10/24/2009). The Loveland, Ohio, native has stabilized a back row that has eclipsed the 100-dig mark three times this season - William & Mary (120), Georgetown (115) and San Jose St. (112). 

Alexis Hein, Heather Wilson, Jessica Groen and Katelyn Layden showed their versatility on offense and defense by notching at least one double-double on the season. Five double-doubles have been achieved by both Wilson and Hein. 

Heather Wilson earned the Camels first overall volleyball player of the week honor on Sept. 9 since rejoining the Big South in 2011.  The Concord, N.C., native totaled 8.56 assists, 2.38 digs and 1.06 kills per set. She registered a pair of double-doubles including a personal-best 50 assists and 15 digs against Georgetown. A 45-assist, 13-dig and 8-kill performance was achieved by the Hampton Inn of Holly Springs Tournament MVP vs. Indiana State. 

Before coming to Campbell, Goral was the associate head coach at Morehead State and made his return to Wetherby Gym on Sept.  13-14 at the Eagle Challenge. He spent five seasons on Jamie Gordon's staff, where the Eagles tallied a 121-43 overall and 77-12 Ohio Valley Conference record. The highlight of the span was in 2011 when the Eagles made the NCAA Tournament. The 2012 squad ran through the OVC slate with a 16-0 mark before falling in the OVC Tournament championship game. Goral helped Morehead to four OVC regular season titles during his stay.