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    Volleyball 2012: A Closer Look
     
     

    July 27, 2012

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    RALEIGH, N.C. – The start of NC State’s 2012 volleyball season is less than a month away and third-year coach Bryan Bunn and his team are preparing to improve on last year’s breakthrough 20-13 record.

    The Wolfpack’s 18 players begin practice on Aug. 7. The team will host the Wolfpack Challenge exhibition match at Reynolds Coliseum on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m., before traveling to Charleston, S.C., to open the season in a tournament hosted by College of Charleston on Aug. 24-25.

    “We are looking forward to starting preseason practice,” Bunn said. “We return the core of a team that established a good foundation for the future of our program.  We have a lot of building left to do, but it will all be a result of the positive results of last year's team.”

    Bunn guided the team to its most wins since 1996 last year, setting a school record for most consecutive wins (13) and an ACC and school record for most consecutive five-set matches (six).

    This year’s team will be led by seniors Megan Cyr, a setter from St. Andrews, Manitoba, and Alexa Micek, a libero from Oxnard, Calif. The team has three juniors, eight sophomores and five freshmen.

    Cyr has played in every set and match since she arrived two years ago after playing her freshman year at Colorado, while Micek has been a regular performer since transferring into the program from Pierce College, also in Bunn’s first season.

    “Megan and Lex are keys to our success this season,” Bunn said. “Megan is a proven setter that is looking to be a team leader this year.  Lex has played a significant role as a libero and defensive specialist the last two seasons and is battling for a starting position.

    “Their leadership and hard work will be vital in our success this year.”

    After integrating 11 newcomers into the rotation last year, the Pack will welcome five freshmen this season: Morgan Cormier, Hannah Holkum, Kaitlyn LaMantia, Courtney Reiman and Alex Taylor.

    “We expect that a couple of the freshmen will make an impact this season, just as Dariyan Hopper, Nikki Glass, Rachel Buckley, Alston Kearns and Hannah Thompson did last season,” Bunn said. “Morgan Cormier and Courtney Reiman showed up ready to compete for a spot right away.”

    GETTING TO KNOW THE PACK

    • This year’s roster has more players from North Carolina than any other state: sophomores Alston Kearns, Hannah Thompson and Rachel Frick and freshman Alex Taylor. There are three players from Texas, two each from Colorado and California, and one from Illinois, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. And it has one player, senior Megan Cyr, from Canada.
    • Engineering is the most common major on this year’s team, with four players enrolled in the challenging field of study: Alexa Micek (civil), Meredith Richardson (civil), Alesha Wilson (chemical), Alex Taylor (chemical). Other majors represented on the team are:
    • As a team, volleyball had the second highest grade point average (3,311) of NC State's 23 varsity sports in the fall of 2011 and the ninth highest (3.107) in the spring of 2012.
    • Junior Meredith Richardson, who regularly sings the national anthem before Wolfpack home games and is pursuing a vocal performance minor, was overwhelmingly selected as the best singer on the team.
    • The team’s biggest secret? Assistant coach Pete Hoyer tells lots of jokes. The players have mixed opinions on exactly how funny they are.
    • Besides English, the players on the team know four languages: Spanish (Alesha Wilson, Hannah Holkum, Alston Kearns, Hannah Thompson, Dariyan Hopper), French (Kaitlyn LaMantia), American Sign Language (Morgan Cormier) and German (Laura Blab).
    • Of the 18 players on the roster, 12 of them are college athletics’ legacies, with one or both parents having played at other schools. Three of them have fathers who played in the NFL and two have fathers who played professional basketball.
      • Meredith Richardson’s father, John David Richardson, played basketball at Vanderbilt. Her grandfather, John Flavius Smith, played football at Tennessee Tech and for the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers.
      • Alexa Micek’s mom Virginia played volleyball and her father Matt played basketball at Colorado Christian College. Her father later played professional basketball with Athletes in Action in the Phillipines. Matt Micek is an assistant basketball coach at Ventura College. Both play competitive beach volleyball.
      • Alesha Wilson’s father, Michael, was a middle hitter in volleyball at Baylor.
      • Morgan Cormier’s father Joe Cormier played linebacker at Southern California and played one season for the Los Angeles Raiders.
      • Nikki Glass’ father played football at UCLA.
      • Alex Taylor’s mom was a swimmer at Duke and her father played football at Duke and UCLA.
      • Rachel Frick’s father Steven Frick played basketball at George Washington.
      • Hannah Holkum’s father played baseball at Central Oklahoma.
      • Rachel Buckley’s father, Scott, was a quarterback for four years at Illinois State.
      • Katie Ganny’s mom, Joan Dalton, played volleyball for two years at Army and two years at South Alabama.
      • Dariyan Hopper’s dad played college and professional football.
      • And Laura Blab’s father, Uwe, helped Indiana win the 1983 Big Ten basketball championship and NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.

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