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VOLLEYBALL: BC Swept By North Carolina Squads

Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

The Boston College volleyball team headed down to North Carolina this past weekend to face the North Carolina State University Wolfpack and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Despite putting up a strong fight on both fronts, the Eagles headed home with two losses.

“Not our best weekend,” said head coach Chris Campbell. “Both of these teams are top-level teams. We were going to have to play really well to be competitive in these, and unfortunately both nights we weren’t able to play how we wanted to play.”
The Eagles took on the Wolfpack (19-3, 9-2 ACC) in Raleigh, N.C. on Friday night. Heading into this weekend, NC State had not lost an ACC match on its home court this season, and Friday’s match was played out in front of a crowd of 896 fans.

The first set established the tone for the rest of the match, with BC losing 25-13. The Wolfpack led the set the entire time, though the Eagles did put up a strong offensive attack, bringing the score up to 20-12 before NC State managed to get a five-point run to end the set.

BC improved in the second set, keeping point for point until the Wolfpack executed a 7-0 scoring run. The Eagles lost the set with a score of 25-17. The third set demonstrated further improvement on BC’s part, and the Eagles brought the score as close as 23-18. Following a timeout called by NC State, however, BC gave up the last two points to end the game with a score of 25-18.

Last week’s ACC Player of the Week Alesha Wilson of the Wolfpack held the match-high with 11 kills to go along with four blocks. Her teammate Megan Cyr had the match-high of 33 assists.

For the Eagles, sophomore Courtney Castle had eight digs and six kills. Captains Kellie Barnum and Krystle Higgins also had strong games. Barnum, a sophomore, contributed 13 assists. Higgins added five kills and four block assists to the Eagles’ effort against the Wolfpack.

Campbell considered Higgins’ performance this weekend exemplary, despite the losses.

“Krystle pushed pretty hard,” Campbell said. “She beat it, she got after it—an example we ask of her as a senior, and she delivered.”
Saturday night the Eagles faced the Tar Heels on their home court in Chapel Hill hoping for an upset against a team they have never beaten in the past.

The first set was promising for BC—at one point the Eagles were tied with the Tar Heels at 7-7. North Carolina then pulled off a 12-5 run before Campbell used his second timeout. The Eagles gained five more points before the Tar Heels claimed the six points needed to close out the set.

In the second set, UNC overtook BC by a score of 25-10. Despite the Eagles’ failure to take the lead in this set, Barnum had seven assists and Castle contributed three digs and two kills.

UNC closed out the match with a 25-17 victory over BC in the last set. The Eagles took hold of a brief lead early in the set, leading the Tar Heels 11-10. UNC then managed a 6-0 run to take the lead. BC put up a consistent fight, with Barnum adding another six assists and freshman Franny Hock tallying four digs and an ace.

With this weekend’s disappointing results, Campbell acknowledged where the Eagles have to go from here to improve their record in the rest of the season.

“Every time you lose, there are examples of areas you can improve and get better,” he said. “Our ID as a team is our ball control, both defensively and serving the ball.”
Looking ahead to upcoming games against Clemson and Georgia Tech, the Eagles hope to improve their current record of 10-13 overall and 4-7 within the ACC.

“We’re going to have to show up with everyone ready to go,” Campbell said. “We’re not a good enough team to show up at 50-70 percent … [getting] our foundation back is first priority.”

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