NC State volleyball had a rough weekend at the 2019 VCU Invitational as the team lost 3-1 against Alabama this Saturday for the team’s third straight loss.
The Wolfpack (2-3) came out strong in the first set, contrary to yesterday's opening set against UC Santa Barbara. The Pack took the first set 26-24. The game went downhill from there though when the Crimson Tide (5-1) was able to take the next three sets. The Pack held on in sets two and three, losing both sets 25-21, but the Pack was down on its luck in set four, being dealt a sound defeat, 25-15.
The Wolfpack started off with a 5-2 lead at the beginning of the first set but was soon tied at 10 points apiece.
Despite having the Crimson Tide take the lead for a few rotations, the Pack soon found itself back on top with a kill from senior middle blocker Lauryn Terry.
The last stretch of the set was a close battle between the Pack and the Crimson Tide but the Pack was able to hold them off long enough to score the two consecutive points it needed to take the first set. A solo block from sophomore middle blocker Pam Chukwujekwu was the final point. Chukwujekwu has had a strong defensive performance in the last few games, being a defensive leader on the net.
The Pack had taken control of the second set by doubling Alabama’s score in the first part of the set, but not long after, the Crimson Tide turned the tides, 21-17. The rest of the set had the Pack trailing, trying to keep up with the Crimson Tide’s offensive attacks.
Mirroring the second set, the Wolfpack started out strong with a good grip on the lead only to let it slip to the Crimson Tide but the Pack did a better job fighting back. Instead of slipping into constantly trailing, the Pack managed to take the lead back, 15-14. Even with a timeout to stop the Crimson Tide’s momentum, the Pack still fell short in the third set.
Offensively, the team divided a lot of the attacks between junior opposite hitter Melissa Evans, Terry and Chukwujekwu. Evans had the most points with 14.5, 13 of which were kills. Terry showed her experience with 12.5 points, 11 being kills, but what was impressive was the lack of attack errors. Only having two errors, Terry ended the game with a .409 hitting percentage.
The Crimson Tide swept the Wolfpack in the fourth set, 25-15. The Pack was able to stay in the game when down three points, 12-9. That soon changed when Alabama went on a run to cease any hope of the Pack making a comeback, 21-12.
Despite the loss, redshirt sophomore libero Kaylee Frazier had a new personal best with 22 digs and Chukwujekwu also reached a new high in blocking with five, two of which were solo.
The Wolfpack will return home to play against ECU this Tuesday at Reynolds Coliseum starting at 7 p.m.