Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In a fascinating volleyball match, State can't knock off UNC

One of the good stories in the Triangle has been the surprising rise of N.C. State in volleyball. Last December, athletics director Lee Fowler fired Charita Stubbs after she couldn't produce a winning season in four tries. Given State's mediocre history in the sport, that was no surprise.

But State, under new coach Bryan Bunn, started 10-3 and came into Tuesday night's match with North Carolina looking to see where it stands compared to the ACC powers. State lost 25-20, 20-19, 25-20 in a match that was hard-fought, fast-paced and fun to watch.
Volleyball is quite a bargain. You can take your daughter, park for free, sit in a front-row seat, buy her a scoop of ice cream and not spend more than $3. If you do go to Reynolds, remember there is food being sold right nearby at the student union, and you can easily walk over and walk back to Reynolds in a matter of minutes. Given the quality of play, and ease of getting into Reynolds Coliseum, it's an amazing deal.

State had about 1,000 people at Tuesday's contest, including athletics director Debbie Yow. One of the frustrations with Fowler that Wolfpack fans voiced was State was at the bottom of the ACC in sports across the board, including volleyball. Yow didn't hire Bunn, but the Wolfpack appears to have a winner in a coach with 20 years of experience, including the last three as associate head coach at Baylor.

Carolina's experience and talent was obvious Tuesday. Emily McGee had 16 kills and 13 digs for UNC, but the Tar Heel who seemed to give State the most trouble was 6-2 Courtney Johnston, who officially had nine kills but seemed to rise well above the net and slam down impressive shots.

State got a great game from Luciana Shafer, the UNC-Greensboro transfer who features a brilliant serve and ability to spike with real force. Watching the women on both sides rise to block spikes and dive to save balls was a joy. And a free joy at that.

1 comment:

  1. This is really One of the good stories in the Triangle has been the surprising rise of N.C. State in volleyball.

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