RALEIGH – A STATEment was made Friday night as the NC State volleyball team broke UNC’s winning streak in a thriller in Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack, in 3-2, sets won the Atlantic Coast Conference opener. The Wolfpack dominated the first two sets 25-21 and 25-17. However UNC came back with a vengeance and won the 3rd and 4th set 25-21 and 25-18, respectively.
With the outstanding play of Freshman Melissa Evans and Senior Julia Brown, the Wolfpack got the victory in a tie breaking set 15-11. With NC State entering the match winning 5 of their last 6 matches, they had nothing but victory on their minds. Taylor Leath the preseason ACC Player of the Year led Carolina.
While UNC may have entered Reynolds with victory on their minds since they had won 39 of their last 41 matches, the Wolfpack and its fans had other plans. The fans turned Reynolds Coliseum into a hostile environment by wearing red and standing on their feet cheering the entire match. In addition, the men’s swim team-intimidated Carolina by showing up in their speedos to support the Wolfpack.
Melissa finished the match with 21 points, 35 attacks attempted and a hitting percentage of 42.9. She did not have the best overall night for the Pack. Julia ended the night with 20.5 points, 15 digs and 50 attack attempts, which gave her the best overall night for the Pack. While the Wolfpack dominated the first 2 sets, they committed too many attack and service errors, which allowed UNC to regain some life. UNC rallied back and won the 3rd and 4th sets. The attacking error by UNC put State ahead 11-7 in the 5th set. Melissa smashed a kill from the right side with State leading 12-8. Then out of no where, Melissa came from the outside to drop the 19th kill of the match. Julia continued her dominance by giving NC State match point 14-9 and also the winning point. The Pack moves to 6-6 overall and 1-0 in ACC play.
This ACC opener was a sweet victory for the Pack and they were happy to celebrate it with their fans. Autographs were eagerly given out after the match. The Pack will have a short time to celebrate before they continue on with their tough schedule by hosting Notre Dame on Sunday at 1:00 pm in Reynolds. Tickets are still available.