Nov 10, 2012
Atlanta — NC State’s volleyball team fell behind in the first two sets Saturday night against Georgia Tech and could not duplicate its feat from earlier in the season, when it bounced back to win three straight games in a five-set match against the Yellow Jackets at Reynolds Coliseum.
Tech took a 3-1 victory in the match to salvage a season sweep against the Wolfpack at Tech’s O’Keefe Gym.
The Wolfpack (20-8 overall, 10-7) was led by junior Brie Merriwether’s 15 kills, a .444 attack average and seven blocks and sophomore Alesha Wilson’s 12 kills and a .292 hitting average. Three Wolfpack players had double-digit digs, led by sophomore Nikki Glass with 16, sophomore Alston Kearns with 13 and senior Alexa Micek with 12.
Senior setter Megan Cyr had 36 assists.
The Yellow Jackets out-hit the Pack, .201 to .176, but owned a decisive advantage in the serving game. Tech had 11 service aces, while the Pack had only one ace and 11 service errors.
“We had our chances and didn’t take advantage of them,” said third-year coach Bryan Bunn. “Our serve-receive was not up to par tonight. They had 11 aces on us in four sets.
“We didn’t pass the ball around very well and we got rattled a little bit.”
The opening set was exceedingly close throughout, as neither team managed to build more than a two-point lead, until Georgia Tech scored the final four points of the game. The Pack had opened a 20-18 lead, but the Jackets scored three in a row to retake the lead and to force a State timeout.
The Jackets took control on kills by Bailey Hunter and Monique Mead and a pair of Wolfpack attack errors.
In the second set, the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 9-2 lead and led by as many as 10 points in the game. The Pack closed within three, 19-16, but Tech reeled off four straight points and took the set 25-20 for a 2-0 lead going into the break.
The Pack led most of the third set and broke away from a 21-20 advantage by scoring four of the game’s final five points in a 25-21 win.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the fourth set, but the Pack tightened the score, though it never drew closer than five points.
“In the third set, we started passing the ball around better and had good energy,” Bunn said. “We bounced back nicely there. Then in the fourth set they jumped out to an early lead and we didn’t recover.”
The Wolfpack returns to Reynolds Coliseum next weekend for its final two home matches of the season, hosting Virginia on Friday at 7 p.m. and Virginia Tech for Saturday’s Senior Day match at 5 p.m.