Sports, Fall, Volleyball

Service Errors Hurt Eagles in 3–1 Loss to NC State

Although a sea of students wearing red bandannas filled the bleachers at the Margot Connell Recreation Center on Friday night, Boston College volleyball was unable to harness the crowd’s energy and turn it into a third-straight win. 

Despite taking the first set by a score of 25–22, BC (16–13, 5–10 Atlantic Coast) proceeded to drop the subsequent three sets to the Wolfpack (19–7, 9–6) en route to a 3–1 loss. The set scores were 25–22, 25–20, 25–22, and 25–19.

Freshman outside hitter Audrey Ross started the match on a roll, and recorded five kills within the Eagles’ first seven points. Coming off a performance, also against NC State, where she put up a team-high 17 kills, Ross continued her dominance and recorded 23 total kills, a career-high.

“She had a good performance last week, I think she’s starting to find her role a little bit,” BC head coach Jason Kennedy said after the match.

The rest of the first set continued to be heavily contested, with both teams struggling to break away from the other. The Eagles were eventually able to gain the advantage and take the set 25–22 following an attack error by the Wolfpack’s Amanda Rice. 

Ross and Katrina Jensen dominated the first set, and totalled a combined 12 kills in the set with seven and five, respectively. Senior setter Sophia Lambros also chipped in with seven assists.

The Eagles carried the momentum from their strong first set into the second and quickly gained a 4–0 lead which forced NC State to take a timeout and talk things over.

The timeout paid dividends for the Wolfpack, as they answered with a 15–6 run to take a 15–10 lead behind their strong serving performance. The Wolfpack recorded 11 service aces in the match, seven of which came from Skye Stokes. She used her strong topspin serve to dismantle the Eagle’s defense, which struggled to return serves all night.

“They had that jump topspin that I think accounted for most of them. But we’ve got to be able to handle that. I think that’s way too many aces to give. Obviously that had a huge impact on the outcome of the match and we have to be able to handle that a little bit better,” Kennedy said. 

The Eagles were eventually able to return Stokes’s serve, but by then it was too little, too late. BC found themselves down 23–19, and they were not able to get over the top and dropped the second set 25–20.

BC’s struggles continued into the third set, and this time, they came on the offensive side of the net. The Eagles recorded five service errors in the third set alone, eventually dropping the frame 25–22. 

“I think that’s what cost us that set. I think if we could serve a little bit better, we had more kills, we had more blocks, but I think the service errors definitely did us in, and that was kind of a turning point,” Kennedy said.

The fourth and final period was completely dominated by the Wolfpack. NC State was able to build a 10–6 cushion early on and never let up, taking the set 25–19 and winning the match 3–1.

November 11, 2023