NC State Travels To Georgia Tech, Clemson For First ACC Road Matches

  0 volleymob | September 28th, 2017 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, News

Press Release courtesy of NC State Athletics.

The NC State volleyball team hits the road for the first time in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play this season when it travels to Georgia Tech Friday and Clemson Sunday. Friday’s contest inside O’Keefe Gym is set for 7 p.m., while first serve of Sunday’smatch is 1 p.m. in Jervey Gym.

Both matches will be broadcast live on the ACC Network Extra, accessible through Watch ESPN and the Watch ESPN App. Tickets to Friday’s match at Georgia Tech are $4 for adults and $2 for youth. Admission is free for Sunday’s contest at Clemson.

NC State heads into the weekend with a 7-6 overall record, including a 2-0 mark in ACC play – the best start for the program in conference play since 2012. Georgia Tech is 6-7 and 1-1 in league action, while Clemson is 5-9 this season and 0-2 in conference play.

Last Time Out

In its most recent outing, the Wolfpack picked up a hard-fought five-set victory against Notre Dame inside Reynolds Coliseum last Sunday. The Fighting Irish were receiving 73 votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) top-25 poll at the time of the contest and were picked ahead of NC State in the ACC’s Preseason Poll.

Evans Named ACC Freshman of the Week

NC State freshman Melissa Evans was tabbed the ACC Freshman of the Week on Mondayafternoon following the first two conference matches of her career. She finished the weekend tied for the team high with 35 kills complemented by a .314 attacking percentage and nine blocks.

The Lone Tree, Colo., native swatted 20 kills versus UNC-Chapel Hill in the first ACC contest of her career and first experience in the rivalry. Evans followed that performance with 15 kills and a career-best seven blocks versus Notre Dame last Sunday.

Leading The Way in the ACC

Heading into the second week of conference play, NC State leads the ACC in five categories. The Wolfpack is first in team hitting percentage (.261), total kills (715), kills per set (13.75), total assists (672) and assists per set (12.92).

Two of a Kind

NC State outside hitters Bree Bailey and Julia Brown have both recently surpassed 1,000 career kills and are two of just 68 NCAA Division I active volleyball players to reach the milestone. The Wolfpack is one of just six programs to have two players on its roster with at 1,000 career kills along with Fairfield, Jacksonville State, Kansas, Missouri State and Sam Houston State.

Additionally, Bailey and Brown are two of just four student-athletes from the ACC to accomplish the feat.

Approaching Milestones

NC State middle blocker Kaitlyn Kearney could be the next to join the 1,000 kill club, as the senior currently owns 941 career kills, just 59 shy of reaching the milestone.

Kearney also owns 464 career blocks, only 34 blocks away from breaking the program record held by Pam Vehling (497). That total is also sixth most among active players in the NCAA.

Starting Fast

The Wolfpack has started fast in matches this season, as NC State has won the first set in 10 of 13 matches. The Pack is outscoring opponents, 313-251, in the opening frame of contests.

Scouting Georgia Tech

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets own a 6-7 record this season after splitting the first weekend of ACC play. Tech defeated Clemson in straight sets last Friday before falling to Duke in Durham, N.C., by the same score on Sunday.

NC State came up short in both matches against Georgia Tech last season, dropping a close five-set match in the most recent contest on Nov. 11, 2016, in Raleigh. The Wolfpack’s last win against the Yellow Jackets was Nov. 9, 2014, at home, 3-0.

Senior outside hitter Gabriela Stavnetchei leads the team offensively with 177 kills, an average of 3.77 kills per set, which ranks sixth in the ACC. At setter, Gabby Benda and Nicole Alford have split time with the former handing out 6.06 assists per set and the latter 4.14. Defensively, libero Sam Knapp headlines the group with 3.28 digs per set.

Scouting Clemson

Clemson is in its first year under head coach Michaela Franklin and the Tigers have compiled a 5-9 overall record and are 0-2 in ACC action. Clemson fell 3-0 against Georgia Tech at home to open conference play before suffering a 3-1 loss at Wake Forest.

NC State has won the last three matchups with Clemson, highlighted by a season sweep against the Tigers last year. The Wolfpack swept the Tigers in the most recent meeting on Nov. 13, 2016, inside Reynolds Coliseum.

The last time NCSU traveled to Clemson, the Pack set a program record for highest attacking percentage in an ACC match with a .407 clip.

Kaylin Korte paces the group offensively with 158 kills or 3.22 kills per set, while Megan McGinley has tallied 87 kills. The Tigers’ setter is Caroline Pearson and she has dished out 391 assists, an average of 8.32 assists per set. At libero, Madi Howell has collected 3.67 digs per set, which ranks among the top 10 of the conference.

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