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VB: NC State bounces back with 3-0 sweep at Virginia

Posted October 19, 2013

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— The NC State women’s volleyball team never trailed at any point in Saturday’s contest against Virginia, as the squad cruised to a 3-0 sweep inside Memorial Gym. The Wolfpack won the first set, 25-21, before taking the second and third sets, 25-17 and 25-14, respectively.

“We played with a lot more emotion and passion tonight,” said head coach Bryan Bunn. “We were much more locked in and we took care of the ball, so we didn’t give up a lot of points on errors and that made all the difference.”

Junior Dariyan Hopper led the Wolfpack (15-5, 6-2 ACC) offense with a match-high 13 kills, complemented by a .385 hitting percentage. Rachel Buckley, a junior from Carrollton, Texas, smacked eight kills and classmate Nikki Glass swatted seven kills. Junior Alston Kearns and freshman Rachel Eppley paced the defense with 15 and 14 digs, respectively. Setter Tanna Aljoe dished out 34 assists and tallied nine digs.

State limited Virginia to a .094 team hitting percentage and forced 21 attacking errors. In contrast, the Pack hit .269 as a team and only committed 13 errors. NC State recorded its eighth shutout win of the season and improved to 14-0 on the season when recording a higher hitting percentage than its opponent.

“The team was locked in from the first point of the first set today and when that happens you’re not going to give the other team much of a chance,” Bunn added. “Against Virginia Tech, we started slow and didn’t have much energy, so weren’t able to battle back.”

Hopper ignited the Wolfpack offense in the first set, as she recorded the first kill of the match to get the squad off to a great start. Virginia (10-10, 3-5 ACC) responded with a kill by Lauren Fuller to knot the score at one, before a kill by senior Meredith Richardson and a Cavalier attacking error gave NC State a 3-1 advantage.

The Cavaliers tied the score again at seven, but the Wolfpack scored consecutive points to take the lead, 9-7, and the score was never tied again in the match. After the Pack led 24-18, Virginia scored three unanswered points, but Hopper capped the first set for the Pack with a kill from Aljoe.

“Dariyan [Hopper] did a nice job tonight,” Bunn said. “She struggled a little last night, but she bounced back with a strong performance tonight.”

NC State carried the momentum from the first set over to the second set and started the frame by scoring back-to-back points. The Wolfpack used a 4-0 run to extend its lead in the set to 12-4. State’s defense kept the Cavaliers at bay for the remainder of the period as Virginia never scored more than two consecutive points.
In the third set, the Pack scored the first three points, before the Cavaliers tallied their first point. Multiple 4-0 runs by the Wolfpack helped the squad stretch its lead in the set. NC State registered a .343 attacking percentage in the third set and held Virginia to an .050 clip. The Cavaliers also committed seven errors in the frame, as opposed to just two for the Wolfpack.

NC State will return to action on Friday, Oct. 25 when it hosts Pittsburgh in the first matchup between the two schools as conference opponents. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. inside Reynolds Coliseum and will be streamed live on GoPack.com.

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