The NC State volleyball team was swept 3-0 by the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second night of the ACC-SEC Challenge on Friday, Sept. 17 at Reynolds Coliseum.
Coming off a big win over Georgia the previous night, the Wolfpack (6-5) gave up a couple of big runs in the first two sets to the Razorbacks (9-2), who won each and a wire-to-wire third set to complete the sweep.
“Two extremes, one yesterday and the other one today,” said head coach Luka Slabe. “Pack volleyball can figure it out when they’re in trouble and Pack volleyball cannot figure it out when they’re in trouble.”
The Pack started out hot in the first set, going up 8-1 before the Razorbacks went on a big 13-2 run to take the lead 14-10. The Pack then inched back to take the lead 18-17 and was up 21-19 before the Razorbacks went on a 6-0 run to win the set and take a 1-0 match lead.
“We opened up the match with [Arkansas] not being able to pass and committing errors on offense,” Slabe said. “The tables turned. Now we cannot receive the ball and we committed attack errors.”
The two teams went back and forth to begin the second set with the lead never getting larger than two for either team, and the score was tied 15-15 when the Razorbacks went on another big 10-1 run to win the set and take a 2-0 match lead.
The Razorbacks were in control from start to finish in the third set, never trailing and winning the set 25-18 to complete the sweep.
Senior outside hitter Jade Parchment led the team in kills with 10, while freshman middle blocker Jada Allen followed closely behind with seven kills and a total of nine points. Sophomore middle blocker Riley Shaak led all players with five blocks, which tied her career-high, while Allen tallied three of her own.
“Yesterday we were good and today we weren’t,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of things we can control that we didn’t. We didn’t capitalize a lot of times we were up or we had an opportunity. Overall it’s a game of energy and errors, and we lost in both aspects.”
The Pack finished with a hitting percentage of .159 compared to .254 of the Razorbacks, while the Pack also had just 27 kills compared to 48 of the Razorbacks. At times, the team looked like it was in control or had a chance to win, but ultimately could not finish it out and win a set.
“Consistency is our issue,” Slabe said. “There was a lot of discomfort for three sets today. Good teams can overcome that. We’re not there yet, and that’s why we’re losing in chunks, and then we’re trying to work our way back, and we’re losing in chunks again, and that all has to do with consistency.”
The loss snaps a four-match win streak for the Pack, which has wrapped up its non-conference slate and now looks ahead to the conference season.
“We win as a team, we lose as a team,” Allen said. “The only way we build from this is we go back into practice, we have the mindset that we’re here to compete, we’re here to win, we’re here to do great things, and move on from it. We can’t push it aside like it didn’t happen. We can’t ignore it. We can learn from it.”
Next up, the Pack hosts Virginia in the ACC opener next Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Coliseum.