Volleyball Aces Test Against Central Michigan, Wins 3-1; Cyr Named MVP
RALEIGH, N.C. - In a match with nearly two dozen service errors, NC State sophomore Alston Kearns scored the decisive point with an ace, giving the Wolfpack a 29-27 win in the fourth set and a 3-1 victory over Central Michigan in the final contest of the Courtyard Midtown Classic at Reynolds Coliseum.
It was one of six aces in the match for the Wolfpack, which also had 12 service errors to go along with the Chippewas' 11.
The victory completed three wins in two days for the Pack (8-1) in its third tournament in as many weeks.
After losing the first set, the Wolfpack stormed back to win three in a row, thanks in great part to sophomore Nikki Glass, who had 20 kills in the match, including eight in the fourth set alone. That's second only to the career-high 21 kills she had against Miami last season as a freshman.
"They came out really aggressive, swinging hard," said third-year Wolfpack head coach Bryan Bunn. "We were able to survive that and come back strong in the next three sets."
Senior Megan Cyr, who had 37 assists in the match, was named the two-day tournament's most valuable player. She was also the MVP of the Comfort Inn & Suites West Ashley Invitational in Charleston, S.C., earlier this season.
Teammates Meredith Ricardson, a junior middle blocker, and Glass, a sophomore outside hitter, were also named to the all-tournament team with Central Michigan's Kaitlyn McIntyre and Danielle Gotham, Western Carolina's Jordan Timmerman and Campbell's Lindsey Coates.
"Megan is a great steadying influence for us," Bunn said. "She played well for us all three matches, just as she has all season long."
Cyr had 37 assists, eight kills on 10 attacks for a .700 hitting average and 12 digs. Earlier in the day in a 3-0 win over Campbell, she had 27 assists to move into fourth place on the NC State career list, ahead of former teammate Alex Smith.
On the weekend, Cyr had 94 assists, 15 kills on 23 attacks and only one error and 22 digs.
In the opening set against the Chippewas, the Wolfpack scored four straight points to tie the set, 20-20, but the Central Michigan scored the final five points to take a 1-0 lead.
Both teams hit about .210 in the opening frame, with Richardson recording four kills on .429 hitting to lead both teams.
The Pack fell immediately behind, 6-0, in the second set, but came alive after Bunn called timeout. Trailing 8-6, the Pack scored 12 of the next 14 points in the game to take a commanding lead.
At one point in the set, the Pack outscored the Chippewas 20-5 to build its advantage. Central Michigan surged back, but a timeout settled the Wolfpack, which held on for a 25-22 win. Both teams hit more than .250 in the set.
The third set remained close, but Cyr had a dump kill and set up sophomore Dariyan Hopper for a pair of smashes that gave the Pack a 23-20 lead.
A service error by the Chippewas brought the Pack to set point, and Richardson and Buckley had a block a the net to give State the 25-22 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
The fourth set was a marathon, though the Wolfpack led most of the way. Glass stepped forward with eight of her 20 kills in the frame, while Hooper added four of her 10 as well.
After three straight weekend tournaments, the Wolfpack will play single matches the rest of the way, beginning Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Reynolds against UNC Wilmington.
"It will be nice not having to prepare for two matches in the same day or three in a weekend," Bunn said. "It gives you time to look at the other team a little more closely.
"We're looking forward to playing single matches the rest of the way."
Tuesday's contest is the seventh in a 13-match homestand. The Wolfpack opens ACC play on Friday against North Carolina at Reynolds, followed by a home match against Ohio.
Admission is free for all spectators at home matches and a live-stream is available on GoPack.com's All-Access.
Courtyard Midtown Invitational All-Tournament Team