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VB: Wolfpack falls at No. 20 Florida State

Posted November 4, 2013

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The NC State women’s volleyball competed hard, but could not hand the 20th-ranked Florida State Seminoles their first home conference loss of the season and dropped a 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-17) decision Sunday afternoon inside Tully Gymnasium. With the win, the Seminoles extended their home conference match winning streak to 23.

“We had the same issue today that we had against Miami and that’s our team passing,” said head coach Bryan Bunn. “If you don’t pass the ball well then you’re not going to play well.”

The Seminoles (17-6, 10-2 ACC) jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the early moments of the first set, forcing the Wolfpack (17-7, 8-4 ACC) to use its first timeout of the match. Unfortunately for the Pack, the timeout didn’t interrupt the ‘Noles offensive attack as they hit .536 as a team in the first frame to win the set, 25-12.

In the second set, NC State won the first three points decided to take the lead, 3-0, before Florida State scored its first point in the set. The Seminoles took the lead, 6-5, after a kill by Izzy Carmona. The period proved to be a back-and-forth battle as the score was tied eight times and the lead changed five times. The score was last tied at 16, before a 5-0 run by the ‘Noles extended the advantage to 21-16.

While the Wolfpack lost the second set, 25-18, it actually outhit the Seminoles in the frame with a .207 attacking percentage as opposed to a .194 clip for Florida State. NC State also forced six hitting errors and only committed four in the set.

“We started to serve the ball a lot tougher and do a better job offensively,” Bunn added. “We just didn’t take care of the ball well enough today and we allowed too many blocks.”

The Pack held the lead early in the third set after senior Brie Merriwether and junior Alesha Wilson smacked kills to give the squad a 4-2 advantage. The Seminoles scored four unanswered points to take the lead in the set, 6-4, and never relinquished it.

The Wolfpack stayed within a few points throughout most of the set, but were not able to knot the score or take the lead again.

Merriwether led the Wolfpack offensively with seven kills, while Wilson swatted six. Junior libero Alston Kearns tallied seven digs, followed by junior Nikki Glass and freshman Rachel Eppley each with five. Freshman Maggie Speaks played most of the match at the setter position and dished out a season-high 21 assists.

“Maggie [Speaks] came in and did a nice job getting the ball to our hitters,” said Bunn. “We’re very happy with her performance today.”

NC State will open a five-match home stand on Thursday, Nov. 7 when it hosts the Clemson Tigers. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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