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VB: Wolfpack Tames Tigers in Straight Sets, 3-0

Posted November 7, 2013

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— The NC State women’s volleyball team used double-digit kills from three different players to defeat Clemson, 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-18) Thursday evening in Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack improves to 18-7 overall and 9-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), while the Tigers fall to 12-12 on the season and 6-7 in conference play.

“It’s good to win at home. Our hitters came out tonight and did a good job taking care of the ball and didn’t make many errors,” said head coach Bryan Bunn. “We attacked the ball high and hard and we served the ball tough tonight, so we’re happy to get the win.”

Junior Dariyan Hopper led a balanced offensive attack for NC State with 15 kills and a .419 hitting percentage, while classmate Rachel Buckley smashed 14 kills and recorded a .500 attacking average. Nikki Glass, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., was the final Wolfpack player with double figure kills at 11. The Pack hit .333 for the match as a team and held the Tigers to a .205 clip.

Alston Kearns, a junior from Apex, N.C., paced the squad defensively with 16 digs, followed by freshman Maddie Brown with 11. Sophomore setter Tanna Aljoe dished out 41 assists in the contest and chipped in with four digs and two blocks.

The Wolfpack served the ball tough and hard throughout the match resulting in five service aces and more importantly – zero service errors. It was the first time this season that the Pack has not committed an error from the service line. State also recorded 10 blocks as a team, as opposed to just two for Clemson.

“We really worked a lot on serving the ball tough and making sure we don’t miss serves in practice this week,” Bunn added. “The last two days we worked a lot on serving under pressure and regaining the focus on how important it is.”

The match started with State claiming a tightly contested first set, 25-20. With the Pack up a narrow 13-12 margin, the squad won six of the next eight points to take control of the frame at 19-14. Glass led the squad with nine kills and a .750 hitting percentage for the set.

The Pack used a 7-2 run at the end of the second set to gain a 2-0 advantage in the match. State took advantage of four blocks in the frame, including back-to-back solo blocks by Merriwether, and held the Tigers to a .125 hitting percentage to win the set. Clemson tied the score seven times in the set, but was never able to take the lead as NC State held the advantage throughout the set.

In the third set, State jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after two Tiger attacking errors and a service ace by freshman Rachel Eppley. After the score was knotted four times, State grabbed the lead for good after a kill by Buckley to give the Pack a 16-15 advantage. The Wolfpack concluded the third set on an 8-2 run to win it, 25-18, and the match, 3-0.

NC State will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 9 when its hosts Georgia Tech at 5 p.m. inside Reynolds Coliseum. The match will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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