Sopitan Attacks VCU

Senior middle blocker Teni Sopitan attacks Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, August 24 at Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack beat VCU 3-2 for their first win of the season.

The NC State volleyball team broke even over Thanksgiving break in Reynolds Coliseum, going 1-1 to conclude its regular season with a 15-13 overall record and a 9-9 mark in the ACC. The Wolfpack secured a perfect 3-0 win against Syracuse (25-23, 25-20, 25-20), but came up short against Florida State 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 28-30, 25-19).  

Wednesday afternoon NC State had a 3-0 shutout against Syracuse to tally a season high of 55 kills against a top-ranked blocking team. Recent ACC Freshman of the Week, outside hitter Jade Parchment, led the team in kills with 19.

Syracuse gained control in the first set to lead the match, but the Wolfpack came back with three unanswered points from the help of sophomore right side Melissa Evans who came out with a service ace.

The Orange started out strong again in the second set, but was shorty shut out by a huge block from junior middle Lauryn Terry and a 5-0 run from senior middle Teni Sopitan. NC State went on to win the second set.

The Wolfpack came out fighting in the third set to take an 11-8 lead with multiple kills from Parchment and never trailed Syracuse again. The match led to a nail-biting end when the Orange cut the lead to 19-18, until senior libero Makenzie Kuchmaner had a pair of aces to secure the win.

Friday afternoon the Wolfpack had a tough loss to the second-place team in the ACC, Florida State. As it’s senior day began, NC State came out strong in the first set to tally a win 25-19. Sopitan had back-to-back kills to give the team a 6-3 advantage at the start. Terry later put away a kill from an overpass that concluded from Evan’s tough serve.

Kuchmaner surpassed 500 digs for the season during the first set to become one of the two players in the ACC to reach the mark in 2018.

NC State continued its strength into the second set when it carried out a 4-3 lead against the Seminoles as Parchment tailed her seventh kill of the match. The Wolfpack fell behind quickly finding itself in a nine-point deficit at 20-11, before giving up the second set to Florida State.

After the two sets the Wolfpack had  a .240 attacking percentage while senior setter Kylie Pickrell led all players with 28 assists.

The third set was close between the two competitors, going back and forth into extra points.

The Seminoles dominated throughout the beginning of the third set until Evans complied two consecutive kills on the right side to tie up the match at 12-12. Florida State began to take the lead again, but Pickrell and Terry blocked a huge hit to put the Wolfpack in play with a tie at 21-21.

Sopitan and Pickrell tallied kills to place the Wolfpack and Seminoles at the same score of 24-24. Florida State began to erupt on the front line and the Wolfpack gave up a service error to give the Seminoles the set.

Sopitan and Evans started out strong in the fourth set giving the Wolfpack a hopeful lead of 13-11 until after a timeout when Florida State jumped back out on top. The Wolfpack tallied back-to-back points to cut the margin to three, still trailing 21-19, but it wasn’t enough to fight off the Seminoles.

Parchment led the Wolfpack in kills once again with 19, while Sopitan and Evans followed closely behind with 17 and 10, respectively.

As NC State closed out its season, it finished eighth in the ACC with a 15-13 record. The Wolfpack was 11-7 at home and 4-6 away.