The NC State volleyball team executed a swift victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Sunday, Oct. 10 in Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack won the match in straight sets, maintaining control throughout.
“We took care of business this weekend and that's what our standard should be,” said head coach Luka Slabe. “... I was expecting a battle; Wake has a couple of really nice transfers. They're big and tall and playing strong volleyball. [We] executed and played well; we stopped their big guns.”
A large portion of the Pack’s (9-8, 3-3 ACC) success against the Deacs (10-7, 1-5 ACC) came from its scrappy defense. Graduate libero Kaylee Frazier notched 10 of the Wolfpack’s 44 digs, while junior setter Kristen McDaniel and freshman setter Maggie Jones contributed nine and seven digs, respectively. Sophomore middle blocker Riley Shaak was the beginning and end of State’s defensive efforts around the net with all three of the team’s solo blocks.
“Today, our blocking was really good,” Frazier said. “When that's good and they're set up and defensively we can see where the hitters are, we can read and so it all just kind of came together there.”
In addition to outdigging the Demon Deacons by 16, the Wolfpack received serve with much more quality than its opponents, allowing it to remain on the attack while Wake Forest was forced to play on the proverbial back foot for the duration of the match.
This dominance came to fruition in spite of a handful of attempts by the Deacs to swing the momentum in their favor. However, the Pack stifled the Demon Deacons every time, maintaining its control over the match.
“I think we sustained that pressure pretty well,” Slabe said. “Lost a couple points, took time out. `What's the plan?’ ‘Let's go out there execute the plan.’ The ladies did that and we kind of stopped them from making more progress.”
The quality win over the Demon Deacons brings the Pack to an even .500 in conference play before it embarks on a three-match road trip against Syracuse, Boston College and UNC-Chapel HIll. NC State begins this trio of away matches at noon on Friday, Oct. 15 against the Syracuse Orange.
“Forget about the record,” Frazier said. “Every day, we can win. Every game, don't treat ourselves like the underdog. No matter who we play; every team we can beat.”