RALEIGH, N.C. NC State dropped its final match of the Holiday Inn Brownstone Volleyball Challenge, 3-1, to Akron on Saturday, Sept. 8, at historic Reynolds Coliseum on the NC State campus. The loss sends the Pack to 3-7 on the year, while the Zips climb to 8-2. Alex Smith was named to the all-tournament team following the match for her efforts throughout the two-day affair.
Lauren Zaniboni led the Pack’s offense with 15 kills, while Keri DeMar, Megan Rehmer and Janay Yancey each added nine a piece. Smith lifted 40 assists and the team recorded nine total blocks while hitting .081. Four student-athletes, Andrea Bentley (28), Chrissy Zirpolo (12), Rehmer (11) and Nikki Sweet (11) cemented double-digit dig totals.
Elizabeth Martin paved the way for UA, recording a double-double on 11 kills and 10 digs. Jess Antosz led the squad in kills with 19, while Brionna Patterson scored 16. Kara Smith put up 52 assists and Jennifer Stewart had 35 digs. In all, the Zips hit .177 and tallied 10 total blocks.
State grabbed its only decision in the opening game, 28-30, getting started with a 3-9 run. After leading by as many as nine points, the Pack lost control to Akron at 28-27 on a Smith service ace, but NC State scored three in a row to end the first frame.
The lead went back and forth in game two until a Brittany Fox kill put the Zips ahead for good at 27-26. Martin tied the team match score with a kill to end the contest at 30-28.
UA took advantage of State’s -.023 hitting percentage in the third frame, grabbing a comfortable 30-21 win. Akron trailed for just five total points during play, and lead by as many as seven, before securing a 2-1 match advantage.
The Wolfpack took its first lead in the fourth and final contest at 17-18 on a Fox attack error. But the lead was short lived as the Zips took back over on a Zaniboni attack error at 25-24, ultimately winning 30-25.
NC State will return to action next Friday, Sept. 14, beginning ACC play by hosting rival North Carolina. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at historic Reynolds Coliseum on the NC State campus.
Holiday Inn Brownstone Volleyball Challenge All-Tournament Team
1. Katie Koop (ECU)
2. Kelley Wenert (ECU)
3. Morgan Covington (Dartmouth)
4. Jess Antoz (Akron)
5. Alex Smith (NCSU)
6. Kara Smith (Akron)
Tournament MVP: Kelley Wernert (ECU)