Volleyball To Honor 4 Seniors Prior to Georgia Tech Match
Nov. 12, 2011
NC State (18-11 overall, 6-10 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (15-12, 8-8)
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State's volleyball team will honor its four seniors on Sunday afternoon prior to the Wolfpack's home match against Georgia Tech.
The contest against the Yellow Jackets will be the second televised match of the season for the Wolfpack (18-11 overall, 6-10 overall). Earlier this season, the Pack lost a 2-3 heartbreaker to Florida State at Reynolds Coliseum, a match that was shown on the ACC Regional Sports Networks.
It's the second match of the season against the Yellow Jackets (15-12, 8-8). The Wolfpack took a 3-2 over Tech earlier this season in Atlanta.
The Wolfpack's four seniors include two who have played their entire careers at NC State. Both middle blocker Margaret Salata of Buffalo Grove, Ill., and libero/defensive specialist Kelly Wood of Yadkinville, N.C., were recruited by the previous staff and were retained after head coach Bryan Bunn was hired prior to the 2010 season.
Bunn also recruited Luciana Shafer of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and Becah Fogle of Leander, Texas, as transfer players after he was hired as head coach. Shafer played two seasons at UNC Greensboro, while Fogle played two seasons at Colorado.
All four will be honored in pregame ceremonies. Georgia Tech's seniors will also be recognized.
PACK THE HOUSE: Sunday's match will also serve as the annual "Pack the House" contest for volleyball. The Wolfpack requests that fans fill Reynolds Coliseum for the televised match. The first 200 fans will receive free volleyball T-shirts and Dominos Pizza.
Following the game, the Wolfpack players will stay on the court to sign autographs for fans.
ACC WINS: Friday night's 3-2 victory over Clemson was the Wolfpack's sixth conference win of the season, tying the school record for league wins since the ACC began sponsoring volleyball in 1981. It's the fourth time overall reaching that total, but the first time since the 1995 team went 6-8 in league play.
The Wolfpack's previous six-win seasons were when league teams played each other just once per year. State was 6-1 against the league in 1983, 6-1 in 1986 and a perfect 6-0 in 1988.
Under Bunn, the Wolfpack has won 10 ACC matches over the last two seasons, which is more than the previous 10 seasons combined.
ROAD WARRIORS: NC State's win at Wake Forest was the Wolfpack's third conference road victory of the season. In fact, the Pack won just four ACC road matches in the 14 years since that '96 team posted a 21-16 overall record and a 3-4 ACC road record.
SWEET MUSIC: Meredith Richardson, a sophomore middle blocker from Brentwood, Tenn., has become the Wolfpack's designated pregame national anthem singer. The talented civil engineering major began singing "The Star Spangled Banner" for the Florida State match, which was televised by the ACC's Regional Sports Network.
Richardson, designated by an overwhelming majority of her teammates as the best singer on the team, has competed in NC State's annual "Athletes With Talent" competition and performed with other student-athletes at the athletics department's holiday party.
Her post-athletic career ambition?
"To be on Glee!" she says.
IN THE HOPPER: Heading into the Oct. 7 match against Miami, freshman Dariyan Hopper of Minooka, Ill., had not recorded a double-digit kill match this season. The closest she had come was nine kills and 10 points in the Wolfpack's 3-1 victory over Charleston Southern in the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire Tournament in Wilmington, N.C., on Sept. 9.
But starting against the Hurricanes, Hopper recorded five consecutive contests with double-digit kills. She had 11 against the Hurricanes, 16 against Florida State, a career-high 21 against Virginia Tech and 14 against Virginia. She added a team-high 10 against Wake Forest and 13 against Maryland to give her six double-figure kills in seven matches.
Against Clemson on Friday, Hopper had 14 kills, her most since recording that total on Oct. 15 against Virginia.
MARATHON MATCHES: NC State's school- and ACC-record stretch of six consecutive five-set matches came to an end with a 3-1 loss to Virginia at Reynolds Coliseum. The night before, the Wolfpack went five sets against Virginia Tech, breaking the ACC mark the Wolfpack shared with North Carolina.
The Tar Heels played five consecutive five-set matches in 1992, four against ACC foes and one against a non-conference opponent. Virginia Tech, as a member of the Atlantic 10, played five consecutive five-set matches in 1999, four against conference opponents and one against a non-conference opponent.
But the Wolfpack's streak was comprised of six consecutive conference matches, an unprecedented and grueling streak that amounted to more than four additional matches on the schedule.
In the Pack's first 15 matches, it played a total of 49 sets in 29 days. That included three days with two matches during early season tournaments.
In its next seven matches, in a span of just 16 days, the Wolfpack played 34 total sets, including the six consecutive matches that went to a maximum of five sets and one match that went four sets.
In all, the Wolfpack has played eight five set matches this season, including 3-2 wins over Wisconsin on Sept. 2 and over Clemson on Friday. The Pack is 3-5 in five-set matches this year.
WINNING WAYS: After losing its season-opening match to Appalachian State, NC State reeled off 13 consecutive wins to break a 24-year-old school record. The previous record of 12 was set by the 1987 Wolfpack en route to the ACC championship.
SECOND GLASS ACT: For the second time this season, Wolfpack freshman Nicole Glass of Colorado Springs, Colo., was named the ACC Volleyball Freshman of the Week, following her performances against the league's top three teams.
In three matches, the outside hitter recorded 50 kills and 53 points. Against No. 21 Miami, Glass recorded a career-high 21 kills and 22 points for the Wolfpack, while notching a hitting average of .286. She added another 19 kills against the Seminoles and 10 against the Tar Heels.
Her previous career high was 16 on Sept. 10 in a 3-0 victory over UNC Wilmington.
Glass also added three aces in the three matches, giving her a team-high total of 19 for the season.
Glass also won the Freshman of the Week award on Sept. 12 after being named most valuable player at the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire Tournament in Wilmington, N.C., where she led the Wolfpack to three straight wins with three consecutive matches of double-digit kills.
MVP THREESOME: Junior setter Megan Cyr was named the Most Valuable Player at the Wolfpack's own Courtyard Midtown Invitational at Reynolds Coliseum, making her the Pack's third tournament MVP in as many weeks.
Cyr had the Wolfpack's balanced offense clicking, with three consecutive 3-0 victories over Liberty, The Citadel and Towson. In nine overall sets, the transfer from Colorado had 104 assists and nine kills.
Sophomore Brie Merriwether was named the MVP of the Wolfpack's first tournament of the season, the Courtyard Midtown Classic on Sept. 2-3. Teammate Luciana Shafer was also named to the all-tournament team.
ROOKIES GALORE: Following her MVP performance, freshman Nicole Glass was named the ACC Freshman of the Week for Sept. 12, becoming the first Wolfpack rookie to win the award since its inception in 2010.
In all, the Wolfpack has nine true freshmen among its 11 newcomers. Others who have seen action this season are Ana Asher of Crozet, Va.; Laura Blab of Wimberley, Texas; Rachel Frick of Charlotte; Hannah Thompson of Henderson, N.C.; and Alesha Wilson of Keller, Texas.
NC State also has one redshirt freshman, Cal-Poly transfer Katie Ryan of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.