Aug. 28, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. –
After months of anticipation, the 2014 women’s volleyball season is upon us as NC State opens the season on Friday, Aug. 29 against Eastern Washington. The match is slated to begin at 5 p.m. inside Hanover Hall on the campus of UNCW.
The Wolfpack will be competing as part of the UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire Classic and is slated to take on Fairfield at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and UNCW later that evening at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s always fun to play another team,” said head coach Bryan Bunn. “The girls are tired of playing each other, so we’re looking forward to Eastern Washington on Friday and Fairfield and UNCW on Saturday.”
On the depth of the team…
“We’re a very deep team this year, so it’s been a lot of fun in practice having competition and being able to put people in different positions. I’m excited to see how they respond this weekend, so we’re ready to get going.”
On what he wants to see from his team…
“Consistent and tough serving. We need to make sure we control the ball on serve/receive and defensively. The offense will take care of itself if we concentrate on serving the ball tough and playing good defense.”
Bunn in Season Openers
Now entering his fifth season with the Wolfpack women’s volleyball team, head coach Bryan Bunn is 3-1 in season openers. All three of the wins have come in 3-0 sweeps and have either been road matches or neutral site contests.
The 2014 squad is the most experienced team that Bunn has had during his tenure at NC State. His first full recruiting class, which joined the program in 2011, are now seniors and four of the five are three-year starters with the other being a two-year starter.
In all, 10 letter winners from a season ago return to the team to anchor the squad.
Scouting Eastern Washington
Friday’s contest will be the first meeting between the two programs. The Eastern Washington Eagles compiled a 10-21 record in 2013, including a 7-13 mark in the Big Sky conference.
Junior outside hitter Allie Schumacher is the team’s top returning player from last season, as she led the squad in points scored (310.5) and kills (269).
The Eagles were picked to finish seventh out of 12 teams in the Big Sky preseason poll.
NC State and Fairfield will be squaring off for the first time in the history of the two programs when the teams take the court on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. The Stags compiled a 19-13 overall record a season ago, highlighted by a 14-4 mark in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
Senior outside hitter Marilyn Peizer returns to lead the Stags offensive attack, after pacing the squad in points scored (403.5) and kills (361) last season.
Fairfield was an NCAA participant in 2013 and was picked to finish second in the MAAC preseason poll.
Saturday’s matchup with the UNCW Seahawks will be the seventh all-time meeting between the two programs, with the Wolfpack holding a 5-1 edge in the series. State won the last contest, 3-2 in Reynolds Coliseum on Sept. 11, 2012.
The Seahawks went 20-10 during the 2013 season, including an 8-6 mark in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). UNCW returns a pair of all-conference performers from last season’s squad in junior middle hitter Meredith Peacock and sophomore outside hitter Nicole Lott.
UNCW was picked to finish fifth in preseason poll by the league’s head coaches.