NC State Rallies Past UK
Cats lose 2-1 lead, fall 3-2
Raleigh, NC (Oct. 2, 2000) -- The University of Kentucky volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking loss on October 1 on the road to NC State. The Cats held a 2-1 advantage through three games, but couldn't hold on as the Wolfpack battled back to win the match 3-2, much to the delight of the Reynolds Coliseum crowd.
UK (4-10, 2-1 SEC) looked to be in control of the match halfway through the fourth game, but failed to closeout the match. NC State (6-10, 0-4 ACC) took full advantage of the Cats hitting errors and kept pressuring the UK defense.
"We let them back into the match," said UK coach Jona Braden. "We lost our focus and NC State took advantage of it. They deserve a lot of credit for continuing to play hard and execute down the stretch."
Both teams struggled to find their groove early in game one. The Wolfpack took an early 4-2 lead before a service ace by UK's Aleisha Craven knotted the score at five. Once again, NC State surged ahead, gaining an 11-8 advantage. Trailing by three, a block by Megan Weiskircher and Sissy Canfield swung momentum in the Cats favor. UK went on to take the next seven points, much in part to improved play at the net, and won game one 15-11.
UK fell behind again in game two, finding itself in an 11-5 hole. A service ace by Whitney Sample initiated a five-point rally that brought the Big Blue to within two points of the Wolfpack. However, NC State held strong, fighting off the Cats comeback attempt, taking game two 15-13 and evening the match at one game apiece.
Game three was totally dominated by UK, as the Cats took the opening point and never looked back, winning the game 15-8 on a cross-court kill by Weiskircher.
With their back to the wall, NC State responded in game four taking advantage of numerous UK hitting errors. The Wolfpack's Charece Williams came alive during the fourth game, driving home eight of her match-high 22 kills. Williams and NC State overpowered Kentucky en route to winning 15-9.
The deciding game, which was played in rally format, was never in doubt. After trading the first six points, NC State took control of the game by continuing its stellar play on defense, forcing UK into multiple hitting errors. The Wolfpack's Tara Green served out the match, completing NC State's comeback.
UK's Megan Weiskircher and Kristen Batt both missed double-doubles by one dig. Weiskircher posted 20 kills and nine digs while Batt tallied 14 kills and nine digs. Aleisha Craven supplied much of the Cats defense with a match-high 23 digs.
Tara Green and Charece Williams both posted double-doubles for NC State. Green recorded 12 kills and 11 digs. Williams was dominating on offense with 22 kills in addition to her 14 digs. Five NC State players reached double figures in digs.
The Cats will look to get back on the winning track when they travel to Baton Rouge on Friday for an SEC tussle with the LSU Tigers. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.