The NC State Wolfpack ladies hosted the Florida State Seminoles at Reynolds Coliseum for a thrilling matchup between the two ACC rivals. Coming into this battle the NC State women were on a 5-game winning streak and held an impressive 9-4 record at home, compared to the modest 6-5 road record held by Florida State. The Wolfpack entered the game with a 15-12 overall record on the season, and 9-8 in conference play. The lady ‘Noles came in at 18-9 overall with a 14-3 conference record.
The Seminoles came into this game slightly stagnant having beaten the Wolfpack in their previous matchup at home, 3 matches to 0. The entire first set was dominated by the front line of NC State with a barrage of aerial attacks. It seemed like the bump, set, spike game plan was working to perfection with rapid fire spikes coming from Teni Sopitan, Senior out of Laurel, MD, and Freshman Jade Parchment, out of Kensington MD. With wonderful team play and hustle, the NC State ladies took advantage of the underdog role in set number one and bested the opposition 25-19.
The Pack were looking to continue with confidence and ride the momentum into the second set but Florida State had other ideas. The ‘Noles went off to an early lead inspired by the dazzling play of Taryn Knuth, and Tiana Jackson, two 6-foot 2-inch sophomores dominating the net. NC State came together and displayed a solid team effort but unfortunately for them was not enough, and the second set finished with a final score of 25-19 in the Seminoles’ favor.
The third set was full of textbook gameplay, inspiring teamwork, and jaw-dropping hustle. Players were making SportsCenter top 10-like plays all over the court, diving for balls that seemed unreachable, dipping balls perfectly into the corners, combining and smashing the ball with blistering pace. The set was tied up 17-17, then 25-25, then 28-28 until finally, the Seminoles kept pushing until they polished off set number 3, 30-28.
It was do or die for the Wolfpack in set number 4, lose this set and the season and the seniors go out with a loss. Florida State was not going to be an easy team to take another set from, and they proved why. Kelsey Wicinski, the libero for Florida State was controlling the back line and kept the ladies focused for what they hoped would be the final set of the game. Fans inside Reynolds Coliseum were doing all they could to try to encourage and amp up their Wolfpack, cheering after every point and injecting energy into the Raleigh town representors. The crowd was not able to do enough however, and Florida State snuck away with their second win against the Pack. The final set finished at a tally of 25-19 and the Seminole seniors got to go out on a big win. The Wolfpack ladies kept their heads high, remaining humble in defeat. The seniors were still honored and were able to look back with no regrets after their years of dedication to the school had been thanked. Despite the loss, the Pack had an incredible season and look to go up from here moving forward.