NC State Volleyball Outlasts Georgia Tech In Five-Set Thriller

Sept. 30, 2011

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ATLANTA – Margaret Salata posted a team-best 18 kills while hitting .484 to lead NC State (14-2, 2-1 ACC) to a 3-2 victory over Georgia Tech (8-6, 1-3) Friday night at O’Keefe Gym. The Wolfpack battled back from an 0-2 (20-25, 20-25) deficit to sweep the final three sets, 25-23, 25-22, 20-18, in front of 1,109 fans in attendance for the Jackets’ first home ACC match of the year.

Tech’s Monique Mead led all players with 27 kills on the night, while Jennifer Percy added 13 and middle blockers Asia Stawicka and Quinn Evans chipped in 12 apiece. Stawicka fell one block shy of a double-double, notching a match-best nine block assists for the Jackets. Mead followed with six block assists, while also adding nine digs.

Tech struggled from behind the service line against the `Pack, committing 12 service errors to NC State’s four. Three of the service errors came in the deciding fifth set, including one to tie the frame at 16-16. There would be two lead changes to follow before the Wolfpack tied the set at 18-18 on a kill by Nicole Glass. Salata then closed out the match with a block and a kill.

The Jackets used a 6-1 run to take a 9-4 lead in the first set and relied on Percy’s play late in the frame to hold off the Wolfpack, 25-20. The sophomore outside hitter logged kills on all six of her attempts, while Courtney Felinski added four kills for the Jackets. Tech hit .412 in the match’s opening frame while holding NC State to a .133 hitting percentage.

Mead and Stawicka led the Jackets to a comeback win in the second set by combining for 13 kills and three total blocks in the frame. After falling behind 17-19, the Jackets scored seven-straight points, four off kills by Mead and another on a Mead/Stawicka block, to take a 24-19 lead. Tech then finished off the set, 25-20, on Mead’s eighth kill of the frame.

NC State avoided the sweep by slowing down the Tech offense with a 25-23 win in the third set. After allowing Tech to hit .312 through the first two frames, the `Pack notched six blocks and tallied 10 digs to limit the Jackets to just a .171 clip in set three. Salata led the way with seven kills on nine swings for NC State.

Junior libero Nicki Meyer paced Tech’s back row defense with 25 digs, and the Yellow Jackets will look to rely on her to lead the squad Saturday night as Tech hosts North Carolina for its annual Dig for the Cure match. All proceeds will benefit the local Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. First serve will be at 6:30 p.m., and the match can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org).

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