Pack Volleyball Readies for Tough Tests in Sunshine State
Oct. 31, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State women’s volleyball team will have perhaps its toughest ACC road trip of the season this weekend, when it travels to the Sunshine State to face Miami on Friday, Nov. 1 and No. 20 Florida State on Sunday, Nov. 3. Friday’s contest is slated to begin at 7 p.m. and first serve of Sunday’s match will be at 2 p.m. The match against the Seminoles will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
The Wolfpack (17-5, 8-2 ACC) won a pair of matches last weekend, grinding out a tough win on Friday against Pitt, 3-2, before defeating Maryland on Saturday by a final score of 3-1. With the victories, NC State remained unbeaten in home conference matches and extended its home-match winning streak to six.
Junior Dariyan Hopper leads the team with 263 kills on the season, an average of 3.55 kills per set. Senior Brie Merriwether has recorded 88 blocks or 1.24 blocks per set on the season. Sophomore setter Tanna Aljoe has dished out 10.32 assists per set for a total of 815 this season. Defensively, junior Alston Kearns paces the squad with 4.49 digs per set, the fourth-best average in the conference.
Junior Savannah Leaf leads the offensive attack with 293 kills, an average of 3.86 kills per set, followed by senior Alex Johnson with 2.71 kps. Junior Blair Fuentez serves as the team’s setter and has tallied 10.40 assists per set this season. The team’s libero, senior Ryan Shaffer, leads the group with 349 digs, an average of 4.59 per set.
Miami enters Friday’s contest on a four-match losing skid, after dropping road contests at Florida State, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Duke. In contrast, the squad has defended its home court well, boasting a 3-1 overall mark inside the Knight Sports Complex.
SCOUTING FLORIDA STATE
Sophomore Nicole Walch leads the ‘Noles offensively with 3.42 kills per set, while Walch’s older sister, Elise, has recorded an average of 3.04 kps. Junior Sarah Wickstrom and freshman Hailey Luke have split time at the setter position, with Wickstrom dishing out 6.89 assists per set and Luke - 4.91 aps. Redshirt junior libero Katie Mosher paces the defense with 306 digs or 4.31 digs per set.
The Seminoles were voted as the preseason favorite to win the conference by the league’s 15 head coaches. Aside from its No. 20 listing in the AVCA coaches poll, Florida State is also listed at No. 34 in the latest RPI just two spots ahead of the Wolfpack at No. 36.