Pack Volleyball Rolls to 3-1 Win Over South Florida
Aug. 31, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - When NC State's volleyball team needed a boost late in the fourth set of Friday night's victory over South Florida in steamy Reynolds Coliseum, the Wolfpack turned to its four upperclassmen to pull the team through in its first home victory of the season.
Seniors Megan Cyr and Alexa Micek had big service aces, while juniors Meredith Richardson and Brie Merriwether had big plays at the net to win the final set 25-20 and clinch the 3-1 victory on the opening day of the Courtyard Midtown Classic.
Richardson finished the match with a career high 19 kills on 31 attacks, with only three errors, for a remarkable .516 hitting average.
"Meredith has grown a lot over the last two years," Bunn said. "She's hungry and wants to keep playing. She's been very good in three of our four matches so far this season.
"She did great tonight."
Cyr led the match with 41 assists.
The aces by Micek and Cyr in the fourth set capped off a team total of nine in the match.
"You rely on your seniors," Bunn said. "They have been here before and they know how to come through in critical situations. Winning those serves were huge for us."
The Wolfpack is now 10-0 under Bunn in tournament matches at Reynolds Coliseum and 26-3 in all tournament matches in his three years at NC State, including a perfect 3-0 mark last weekend at the Comfort Inn & Suites West Ashley Invitational in Charleston, S.C.
"We showed some resiliency tonight against much different competition," Bunn said. "We need to play against some strong teams and I think will see that this weekend."
The Wolfpack fell behind midway through the opening set and was down, 23-21, late in the game. But a pair of blocks by Richardson and freshman Morgan Cormier and a powerful kill by Hopper allowed the Pack to score the final four points of the set and take a 25-23 victory.
In the opener, the Wolfpack had six players with two kills apiece, with an overall hitting percentage of .323.
State jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set, but couldn't hold on to it, as the Bulls came back to tie the match 14-14 on a kill by Andrea Rodriguez Gomez. South Florida played strong defense and outhit the Pack .333 to .081 in the set in taking a 25-19 win to tie the match.
The Pack opened the third set looking for a spark, but fell behind 10-6 against the Bulls. Richardson had three straight kills to tie the set 11-11. The two teams remained close throughout the set, going to extra points before Richardson's game-winning kill gave the Wolfpack a 29-27 win and an overall 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set, South Florida went on an 8-1 run to offset the Wolfpack's 7-3 lead early in the game. Bunn called timeout to settle his team down, and both Richardson and Cormier responded with big kills.
An ace by sophomore Hannah Thompson closed the gap to two points, and back-to-back errors at the net by South Florida and a kill by Hopper tied the score at 15-15.
Merriwether had a service ace to give the Wolfpack an 18-17 lead, but it lasted only one serve. Two kills by Hopper and a service ace by Cyr gave the Wolfpack some breathing room, 21-19, and Richardson and Micek helped the Pack score the final four points to clinch the match.
The Wolfpack will play two matches on Saturday, against Kent State at 1 p.m. and against VCU at 7 p.m.VCU beat Kent State 3-1 in Friday afternoon's opening match of the two-day tournament.
Admission to all matches is free. All Wolfpack home games are live-streamed for free through All-ACC on GoPack.com at this link.