Volleyball Heads To Virginia to Face Cavs, Hokies
Nov. 17, 2011
NC State (19-11 overall, 7 -10 ACC) at Virginia (10-17, 4-13)
NC State vs. Virginia Tech (15-13, 8-9)
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State volleyball team not only looks to improve on its school-record total of seven ACC wins, but also hopes to move into the upper half of the ACC standings this weekend as it travels to Virginia for its final two road matches of the season.
The Wolfpack (19-11 overall, 7-10 ACC) will play Virginia (10-17, 4-13) on Friday at 7 p.m. in Charlottesville, Va., followed by a 6 p.m. match on Saturday against Virginia Tech (15-13, 8-9) in Blacksburg, Va.
Second-year head coach Bryan Bunn’s team is currently in sole possession of eighth place in the league standings, one full game behind the two teams tied for sixth place, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
With the Yellow Jackets playing first-place Florida State and second-place Miami in Atlanta this weekend and the Hokies hosting the Wolfpack and third-place North Carolina, Bunn’s team has the opportunity to move up several spots in the standings as the league heads into the final week of regular-season play.
The Wolfpack hasn’t finished in the upper half of the ACC final regular-season standings since the 1991 squad tied for fourth with Georgia Tech with a 3-4 record in league play.
State, however, fell to both the Cavaliers and Hokies earlier this season, at the end of its ACC-record stretch of six consecutive five-set matches. The Hokies won 3-2 in Reynolds Coliseum and the Cavaliers won 3-1.
The Wolfpack has won three ACC road matches so far this season, which matches the school record for conference road victories, last set when the 1996 team posted a 21-16 overall record and a 3-4 ACC road record.
The Wolfpack concludes the regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 1 p.m. against North Carolina at Reynolds Coliseum.
WEEKLY DOUBLE: For the first time in the history of the program, NC State had both the ACC Player of the Week and the ACC Freshman of the Week, as senior middle blocker Margaret Salata and freshman outside hitter Dariyan Hopper were honored for their play against Clemson and Georgia Tech.
It was the first weekly award from the league for both players. Salata became the first Wolfpack player since Alex Smith in the opening week of the 2010 season to earn Player of the Week honors, after leading the Pack to two conference wins.
Salata, a senior from Buffalo Grove, Ill., matched her career high with 19 kills and set a career best with 24 points against the Tigers. She added 12 kills and a sizzling .579 hitting average against the Yellow Jackets.
Hopper, a freshman from Minooka, Ill., had two of her finest matches of the season, with 14 kills and three blocks against the Tigers and 12 kills and a .423 hitting average against the Yellow Jackets.
Hopper has come on strong in the second half of the season. She didn’t have her first double-digit kill total until the team’s 19th match, when she posted 11 kills against Miami. She’s had double-figure kills in eight of the Wolfpack’s last 12 matches.
"We very pleased to have both Marge and Dariyan recognized by the ACC for their play this weekend,” second-year NC State head coach Bryan Bunn said. “It's a fitting reward after the weekend we had as a team, because their play was instrumental.
“Marge's hard work over the last two years is really paying off and I think Dariyan is starting to get an idea of the player she can become."
IN THE HOPPER: Heading into the Oct. 7 match against Miami, freshman Dariyan Hopper 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.
With 14 against Clemson and 12 against Georgia Tech, Hopper has hit double-digit kill totals in eight of the Wolfpack’s last 12 games.
DIGGING WOODS: Senior libero/defensive specialist Kelly Wood became the school’s career leader in digs in Sunday’s match against Georgia Tech. The native of Yadkinville, N.C., had 16 digs in the contest, giving her 1,769 in her career.
She surpassed the 1,767 digs collected by Jennifer Peterson from 1994-97.
For the season, Wood has 460 digs, which is the eighth most in a single season in school history. She needs 27 more in the team’s final three matches to break her career high of 486, which she set as a freshman in 2008.
Woods, a four-year starter for the Wolfpack, is also ranked fifth in career games played with 470.
CLOSING IN: Several other Wolfpack players are closing in on season and career marks the 2011 season nears its end.
Senior Margaret Salata is tied for fourth with 145 total blocks this season. She ranks sixth all time with 389 career blocks.
Setter Megan Cyr has the second highest hitting percentage ever posted by a Wolfpack player at .425 so far this season. Salata also ranks eighth at .359.
Cyr, in just her second season in the program, ranks seventh in career assists with 2,253. Cyr recently surpassed her 2010 total of 1,133. She has 1,160 for the season, which ranks as the 10th best single-season total in school history.
1. Stefani Eddins 2004 173
Single-Season Hitting Percentage (Min. 100 attempts)
Career Hitting Percentage
Career Games Played
2012 SIGNEES: NC State signed four high school players who will join the program next fall and fill specific needs the program has at middle blocker and setter.
The class consists of middle blockers Morgan Cormier of Carlsbad, Calif., and Hannah Holkum of Edmond, Olka.; setter Kaitlyn LaMantia of Chantilly, Va.; and middle blocker/outside hitter Courtney Reiman of Omaha, Neb.
“We’re excited about the size and athleticism of this year's class,” Bunn said. “Just as importantly, they’re good people and great students who help solidify the type of program we are building here.
“This class, coupled with this year's freshmen and sophomores, puts us in a great position to keep improving our finish in the ACC."
2011 NC State Volleyball Signing Class
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 Nov. 11. 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.
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.