Sept. 18, 2012
Wake Forest (6-5 overall, 0-0 ACC) vs. NC State (11-1, 1-0)
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. | Reynolds Coliseum
Series record: Wake Forest leads, 27-18
Last meeting: NC State won, 3-0, in 2011.
Gametracker | GoPack.com All-Access
NC State notes | Wake Forest notes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- With the ACC’s most wins and top winning percentage, the NC State volleyball team hosts the first of 19 consecutive ACC matches when Big Four rival Wake Forest visits Reynolds Coliseum on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
It’s the 10th contest in a 13-match homestand for the Wolfpack, which owns an 8-1 record on its home floor. Overall, the Pack has won six straight matches in a 10-day span since suffering its only setback of the season, a 3-2 loss to Virginia Commonwealth in the final match of the NC State Courtyard Midtown Invitational.
Admission is free for all spectators. Those who can’t attend can watch a live stream for free on GoPack.com’s All-Access.
The Wolfpack (11-1 overall, 1-0 ACC) opened its ACC season with a 3-1 victory over rival North Carolina on Friday night at Reynolds Coliseum, ending the Tar Heels’ eight-match winning streak in front of 1,268 spectators. The Tar Heels were picked to finish second in the ACC in a preseason poll of coaches, while the Wolfpack was picked to finish eighth.
It’s the second time in three seasons under head coach Bryan Bunn that the Wolfpack has won its ACC opener. It’s the first time since 1983 the Wolfpack has opened its ACC slate by beating the Tar Heels, who were selected second back in August in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches, and it’s the first time the UNC has lost its ACC opener since 1996.
The Pack followed that victory with a 3-0 win over Ohio, a team that has qualified for the NCAA Championship nine of the last 10 seasons, in the Pack’s final non-conference match of the season.
Wake Forest enters the match with a 6-5 overall record. This is the Demon Deacons’ ACC opener.
Last year, the Wolfpack ended a 25-match losing streak to the Deacons when it beat Wake 3-0 in Winston-Salem, dating back to the 1997 ACC Tournament at Reynolds Coliseum.
The Deacons own a 27-18 advantage in this series between longtime rivals.
The Wolfpack’s last regular-season home victory over Wake came in 1996 in the second match of the season, a 3-0 win in Reynolds Coliseum.
After a pair of hard-fought matches earlier in the week, NC State cruised with relative ease to a 3-0 victory on Sunday to perennial NCAA participant Ohio in Reynolds Coliseum.
The Wolfpack was led by junior Brie Merriwether’s 10 kills and seven blocks, sophomore Alston Kearns 12 digs and senior Megan Cyr’s 26 assists against the Bobcats, who have qualified for the NCAA Championship in nine of the last 10 seasons.
The Wolfpack continues its 13-match homestand at Reynolds Coliseum when Duke visits on Friday, followed by a match against Georgia Tech next Friday and Clemson next Saturday. All three matches begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free for all spectators.
ACC RECORD WINS
Last year, the Wolfpack set school records with eight ACC wins and four ACC road wins. In his first three seasons as NC State’s head coach, Bryan Bunn has guided the Pack to 13 conference wins, which exceeds the number of ACC wins the program had amassed in its previous 12 seasons combined.
CORMIER NAMED ACC FRESHMAN OF WEEK (9/17/12)
Freshman outside hitter Morgan Cormier of Carlsbad, Calif., was named ACC Freshman of the Week for her contributions to the Wolfpack’s 3-0 record the week of Sept. 10-16.
Cormier tallied 24 kills and 14 blocks in the three matches, as the Wolfpack improved to 11-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC following its wins over UNC Wilmington, North Carolina and Ohio.
Last year, outside hitters Nikki Glass and Dariyan Hopper both earned two freshman of the week honors. When Glass earned her first weekly honor, she became the first Wolfpack player to win the weekly newcomer award, which was started for the 2010 season.
Florida State senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim and Georgia Tech senior outside hitter Bailey Hunter have been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball Co-Players of the Week.
CYR MOVES TO FOURTH IN ASSISTS, SECOND IN HITTING PERCENTAGE
Senior setter Megan Cyr had 38 assists in four sets against North Carolina and 52 assists in the Wolfpack’s dramatic five-set win over UNC Wilmington on Tuesday night, matching the second most she’s ever recorded in a single match. She also had 52 assists last season in a 3-2 loss to Virginia Tech. The preseason All-ACC selection set her career high with 55 assists in a 3-1 win over Illinois State as a sophomore in 2010.
With 452 assists in 12 matches this season, Cyr now ranks fourth all-time on the school’s career assists list and needs only 79 more to overtake Erin Vesey (1998-99) for third place.
She’s also been effective part of the Wolfpack’s offensive attack. Her .375 attack average ranks second all-time, and she’s slowing creeping up on Lori Zuersher’s record of .378, which was set from 1981-84.
For the second time this season and the third time in her career, senior setter Megan Cyr has been named the most valuable player in an early-season tournament. Most recently, Cyr was named the MVP of NC State’s Courtyard Midtown Invitational at Reynolds Coliseum, in which she had 94 assists, a .609 hitting average, three service aces, 22 digs and seven total blocks.
She was also named MVP of the Comfort Inn & Suites West Ashley Invitational earlier this year after she posted 121 assists, eight kills, 17 digs, 12 total blocks and three service aces in the Wolfpack’s 3-0 sweep of the tournament.
Last year, Cyr was one of three Wolfpack players to earn MVP honors. Cyr won the award at NC State’s Courtyard Midtown Invitational, while Brie Merriwether was MVP of the Courtyard Midtown Classic and Nikki Glass was MVP of the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire Classic in Wilmington, N.C.
PLAY OF DAY, PLAY OF YEAR
Sophomore libero Alston Kearns made what might be the play of the year on Sept. 11 when she chased down an errant pass, stuck out her foot and kicked the ball high into the air from the end zone to teammate Nikki Glass, who batted the ball backwards over the net from near the baseline.
The Wolfpack won the point with a block at the net, to take the fourth set in a dramatic comeback against the Seahawks.The Pack had lost the first two sets and were down to match point, trailing 24-20 in the third. Behind the serving of Glass, the Pack scored six straight points to win.
The foot’s-up play helped change the momentum for the Wolfpack, which won the final two sets to take a 3-2 victory. It was the third time in the last two seasons that the Wolfpack had come back to win a match after losing the first two sets. It won similar victories against Wisconsin at home and at Georgia Tech last season.
Kearns’ play was chosen as No. 8 on ESPN’s Play of the Day for Tuesday, Sept. 11.
SERVED WITH A GLASS
Sophomore Nikki Glass, who led the team with 25 service aces as a freshman last year, has 14 service aces in the Pack’s last six matches and leads all players in the ACC with 22 aces on the years.
Overall, the Pack ranks third in the ACC with 1.55 aces per set.
Glass, an outside hitter from Colorado Springs, Colo., had a career-high four in the Wolfpack’s 3-2 loss to Virginia Commonwealth in the final match of the NC State Courtyard Midtown Classic and had three against North Carolina in four sets and Ohio in three sets.
11-1 START IN TOP 5 IN SCHOOL HISTORY
NC State won its first five contests of the 2012 season, which matches the program’s best start since 1995, when the Pack won its first seven matches. Head coach Bryan Bunn also led the Wolfpack to a 5-0 start in 2010, his first year at the helm.
So far, the Pack is 11-1 out of the gate this season, which is among the top five starts in school history. The best start ever was in 1979, when the Pack started the season 18-1.
Last year, the Pack opened the season with a 13-1 mark, which matched the second best start in school history. In 2010, Bunn’s first season, the Pack opened with a 9-1 record.
Here are other top starts.