NC State swept the defending ACC Champion Louisville, the first time the Wolfpack beat the Cardinals in a contest.
The Wolfpack was led by Julia Brown with 16 kills and a .375 hitting percentage. Rachel Eppley picked up a match-high 20 digs. After missing the previous two matches, senior setter Maggie Speaks handed out a match-best 33 assists along with six digs.
Despite a commanding 11.5-3 block ratio, the Cardinals couldn’t hold on against the Wolfpack. Melanie McHenry put down 12 kills and added four blocks. Jasmine Bennett led the Cardinals in blocks with six.
Courtesy of NC State Athletics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Headlined by a match-high 16 kills from junior Julia Brown, the NC State volleyball team earned a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-23) sweep at Louisville, the defending ACC Champion, Thursday night inside the KFC Yum! Center.
The Wolfpack improves to 11-8 and 4-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while the Cardinals fall to 6-11 and 1-6 in conference action. NC State earned its first win against Louisville in the contest. It was the fourth all-time meeting, but the first held at Louisville, which won the 2015 ACC Championship with a 25-7 overall mark and an 18-2 clip in ACC play.
“Overall, we’re thrilled to start this road trip off with a sweep,” said head coach Linda Hampton-Keith. “It’s always tough playing on the road in this conference but more importantly we focused on being our best so that we would put ourselves in the best position for success against the defending conference champions. I’m proud of our ability to keep pushing forward even when things weren’t going well and finding ways to continue fighting and scoring.”
On the team’s comeback in the third set…
“In set three, we came back from a pretty big deficit and what I was impressed with was how we kept pushing ourselves to be better in the next play. We started playing with a better sense of urgency and defensive intensity and that helped us close out a very close and exciting 3rd set.”
On Julia Brown‘s play…
“Julia once again stabilized us when we needed it and found ways to score points when we needed it. She has a great sense of what the team needs from her and she delivers consistently.”
– Both teams opened the match strong, as neither team was able to pull away until a 3-0 run gave Louisville a 14-11 lead forcing an NC State timeout.
– Out of the break, the Wolfpack countered with three unanswered points to knot the score at 14.
– After the Cardinals grabbed a 22-21 lead in the first set, the Pack took its second timeout and quickly responded with three consecutive points to take a 24-22 advantage and own set point.
– A kill by Perry Ramsey closed out the first set at 25-23, as Louisville fought off the Wolfpack’s first attempt at set point.
– NC State turned in its best set of the night in the second, as the squad compiled a team attacking percentage of .382 with 15 kills on 34 swings with only two errors. In contrast, Louisville was held to .167 clip in the frame.
– Consecutive attacking errors by Louisville gave NC State an 11-8 lead and the Cards used a timeout at that juncture.
– The Wolfpack continued its strong play with a 4-1 run leading to a 16-11 advantage and a service ace by Emily Harris gave NCSU its largest lead of the night at 18-12.
– Brown provided NC State with its first set point attempt with a kill to make it 24-18 and Kaitlyn Kearneyconverted two points later for the 25-20 second set win.
– NCSU raced out to a 6-2 lead in the third set, but Louisville countered with a 9-2 run to take an 11-8 advantage.
– Ramsey served back-to-back aces to trim the Wolfpack deficit to 12-11. From there, the Cards answered once again to stretch the tally to 17-11.
– The Wolfpack wasn’t done; however, as five unanswered points by the Pack trimmed the score to 17-16.
– Louisville looked poised to take control of the set late, as it led 22-20 and then again at 23-21, but the Wolfpack came roaring back.
– Teni Sopitan swatted a kill to make it 23-22 and an attacking error by the Cards evened the score at 23. Kills by Brown and Sopitan capped the 4-0 run, as NC State won the set, 25-23, and the match, 3-0.
– Brown led all players with 16 kills in the contest to go along with a .375 attacking percentage.
– Ramsey and Sopitan each tallied nine kills, while Kearney chipped in with seven.
– At setter, senior Maggie Speaks made her return to the lineup after missing the previous two contests and dished out a match-high 33 assists to go along with six digs and two kills.
– Defensively, Rachel Eppley led all players with 20 digs.
NC State returns to action Sunday afternoon when the squad takes on Notre Dame in Indiana. The contest in slated to begin at 1 p.m. inside Purcell Pavilion and the match will be broadcast live on the ACC Network Extra.
Courtesy of Louisville Athletics
Melanie McHenry‘s 12 kills and the University of Louisville women’s volleyball team’s 11.5 blocks weren’t enough as the Cardinals fell 3-0 to the NC State Wolfpack Thursday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinals (6-11, 1-6) fell 25-23, 25-20, 25-23. UofL hit .155, had 11.5 blocks, and five aces. Melanie McHenry led the Cardinals with 12 kills while Tess Clarkadded nine. Jasmine Bennett added six blocks. NC State aced six services and was led by Julia Brown’s 16 kills to improve its record to 11-8, 4-3.
“I am proud of Tess Clark and her ability to stay consistent.” UofL head coach Anne Kordes said after the loss. “We are dealing with the loss of Janelle Jenkins and having to tweak the lineup. In doing so, we hurt our serve receive. I liked our push back in game three, but it was too late. Bottom line, we are in a tough situation and we have to adjust because it’s sink or swim. We will figure it out. We are all in this together – coaches, staff, and players.”
After a long rally for the first point to start the match, the Cardinals battled with the Wolfpack to an early 4-4 tie. Short runs for each team of two and three kept the set close throughout the set, which featured 11 ties and five lead changes. Louisville jumped out to a 14-11 lead, but NC State came back to tie it and eventually take a 20-18 lead, forcing the Cardinals to take their first timeout. The Cardinals responded with a 4-1 run and the Wolfpack called their final timeout to regroup. That break would be the difference, as NC State responded with a 4-1 run themselves to seal the first set victory, 25-23.
The second set started with a Louisville point, on a kill by Maggie DeJong. The Wolfpack responded with a 3-0 run to take the lead. Louisville kept it close, tying it two more times in the match, but a 7-2 NC State run gave the Wolfpack a 16-10 run. Kills by Melanie McHenry, Morgan Miller, and Tess Clark kept the second set close, but they weren’t able to string together a run large enough to put pressure on NC State, who took the second set 25-20, and a 2-0 set lead into the break.
The Cardinals fell behind early with a score of 6-2, forcing Louisville to call their first timeout in the third set. Louisville responded big with a 15-5 run, featuring seven kills from McHenry, two aces from Kali Eaken, and two NC State timeouts to take a 17-11 lead. The Wolfpack regrouped and went on a 7-1 run to tie the match at 18 apiece and Louisville called its final timeout. A kill and block by DeJong and a kill from Miller gave the Cardinals a 21-19 lead, but it wasn’t enough as NC State would go on a 7-2 run and give the Wolfpack a 25-23 third set and match victory.
Louisville will be back in action at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16 when they host No. 8 North Carolina at the KFC Yum! Center.