Boston College volleyball’s mantra is no longer bump, set and spike. Instead it is now bump, set, spike, and block. The Eagles had a strong showing offensively, but their hard-fought win over NC State was due in large part to their strong defense. Julia Haggerty and Cornelia Roach led the Eagles with 13 combined block assists.
“I was really proud of [the team’s] effort to rally on the defense and then be able to find a way to get the offense going,” BC Head Coach Jason Kennedy said.
Despite dropping the first two sets of the match, BC (16–12, 5–9 Atlantic Coast) rebounded and grabbed the next three en route to a 3–2 comeback win over the Wolfpack (17–7, 7–6).
The set scores were 25–22, 25–22, 25–22, 25–23, and 15–7.
The first point of the game went the Eagles’ way, but several errors and kills allowed the Wolfpack to take an early 7–2 lead. BC clawed back, though, and eventually tied the score at 9–9 following a kill by Katrina Jensen.
A block assist by BC’s Roach and Jensen gave the Eagles an 11–10 edge, and marked the first time that BC held the lead since the opening point.
The Eagles continued to have a strong showing, especially from their blockers, and they remained in the lead for the majority of the first set.
NC State came back from down 22–20, and due to two errors and three kills, NC State scored five times in a row, which allowed them to sneak away with the first set, 25–22.
The Eagles totaled seven blocks in comparison to the Wolfpack’s four in the opening set.
The second set told a different story. Even after redeeming themselves during the end of the set, the Eagles were never able to take the lead from the Wolfpack.
BC knotted the score only once with NC State at 4–4 due to a kill from Jenna Pollock, and afterward lagged behind NC State by a large margin.
A service error from NC State’s Skye Stokes kicked off an 11–3 BC run, which brought the score from 20–11 to 23–22. Despite BC’s efforts, the Wolfpack prevailed and won the second set with a score of 25–22
“Unfortunately, I thought we lost two heartbreaks in the first two sets…It was a real emotional test at that point to see if we wanted to grit out a set win or fold,” Kennedy said
And fold they did not. Although the Wolfpack was able to fend off the Eagles during the first two sets, the Eagles came back with a bang in the third. After scoring the first point, NC State never saw the lead again in that set.
After NC State tied the set at 14, BC’s Audrey Ross, assisted by Sophia Lambros, countered with a kill. The Wolfpack could not catch up, and several kills allowed BC to win the third set to make it a 2–1 match.
“[The team] never really backed down,” Kennedy said. “It was the first time we’ve seen that all year out of this group where they weren’t really phased by anything. It was a tough environment to play in…but it was a really resilient effort on their part to find a way to win that third set.”
The fourth set displayed the intensity of the matchup, \and the score was tied a total of 13 times.
NC State took the first point of the set with a kill from Jada Allen assisted by Kristen McDaniel, but after BC gained a point from a service error by McDaniel, the Eagles remained in the lead until an attack error by Pollock made it 10–9 in the Wolfpack’s favor.
Pollock, however, quickly offset her error with a kill to make it 10–10. Neither team gave up the edge, and after a kill by Jensen, the score was tied 23–23. Ultimately, two attack errors in a row from NC State gave BC the win in the fourth set with a score of 25–23.
“I like that we kept going after it,” Kennedy said. “I like that we didn’t back down from the service line and that we were the aggressor from behind the line.”
The Eagles dominated in the fifth and final set. With 11 kills, six of which were Ross’s, combined with several service errors by NC State, the Eagles won with a score of 15–7.
“They played with some confidence, they played with some swagger…they didn’t look back,” Kennedy said. “Every time NC State tried to push back we had an answer…we were the aggressor.”
Strong showings from both BC’s offense and defense contributed to its 3–2 comeback win over NC State.
“They’re a good team…they’re gonna come fired up and I’m sure they’re going to be seeking revenge. We have to expect their very best effort and be able to grind out another one,” Kennedy said.