Volleyball Edged By UNC in ACC Opener
Sept. 25, 2013
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The NC State women's volleyball team suffered its first conference loss of the season against 14th-ranked North Carolina, Wednesday night inside Carmichael Arena. The Wolfpack led at some point in each set, but fell to the Tar Heels, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23).
"We had our chances, but just didn't take advantage of them," said head coach Bryan Bunn. "We had leads in all three sets, late in the set and we have to find a way to put those away. We had more blocks and more digs than UNC, but we have to make the plays when we have the lead and not make errors."
The first set dictated the type of matchup that it would be, as there were six ties and five lead changes. The Wolfpack (9-4, 0-1 ACC) gained an early 6-3 lead in the match after junior Alesha Wilson put home a kill from sophomore setter Tanna Aljoe. UNC (12-0, 1-0) answered with a 5-2 run to tie the score at eight.
State responded with a 6-3 run of its own to extend the lead to 15-11 before a media timeout. The Pack held the lead from that point until the Tar Heels took the lead, 22-21 on a kill by Jovana Bjelica. North Carolina closed out the first set on an 8-3 run.
In the second set, NC State jumped out to a 3-0 lead after junior Dariyan Hopper recorded back-to-back kills to open the frame. UNC took its first lead of the set, 12-11, after a service ace by Jordyn Schnabl. The Pack tied the score at 16 following an attack error by Lauren Adkins.
The two teams found themselves in a seesaw battle for the next few points, before North Carolina won the set, 25-23.
"If we can stay locked in and play the way we did tonight, then we'll be in great shape for the rest of the conference schedule," Bunn added.
NC State got off to another hot start in the third set, winning five of the first six points in the frame to lead, 5-1. UNC went on a 7-3 run to tie the score at 8, prior to taking its first lead in the set, 12-11, on an attacking error by the Wolfpack.
After two State timeouts, the Pack fought its way back into the set to knot the score at 19. Freshman Eve Davis put the Wolfpack ahead in the set with consecutive kills, as NC State led, 22-19. Classmate Maddie Brown followed with a service ace to extend the Pack's lead to 23-19.
At that point, UNC came roaring back and went on a 6-0 run to win the third set, 25-23, and claim the victory.
Hopper led the Wolfpack with 12 kills, followed by Davis and Wilson who each contributed eight. Juniors Nikki Glass and Alston Kearns tallied 13 digs each, while Aljoe registered her third double-double of the season with 30 assists and 10 digs.
NC State will return to the court on Sunday, Sept. 29, when it faces Notre Dame inside Reynolds Coliseum at 2 p.m. It marks the first time the two schools will meet as conference opponents.