The Wolfpacker

November-December 2023

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 43 of 51

TONE TONE SETTER SETTER Veteran Kristen McDaniel Has Helped Elevate The NC State Volleyball Program BY MATT HERB risten McDaniel could sense the excitement among her NC State women's volleyball teammates in the days leading up to their Oct. 1 showdown with perennial ACC power Louisville. The Cardinals were fifth in the American Volleyball Coaches As- sociation poll, and the Wolfpack had never beaten such a highly ranked opponent. Nevertheless, in the texts that players exchanged with each other prior to the matchup, it was as if that history had already been cast aside. The messages were brim- ming with anticipation, with optimism, with pos- sibility. "Usually, a couple of days before games, we'll text in our group chat and hype each other up," said McDaniel, a graduate setter. "Before that game, we were like, 'This is a team that we want to play to see where we're at. If we want to make it to the NCAA Tournament, these are the kind of teams we're probably going to face.' "We had nothing to lose. We had never beaten a K McDaniel had amassed a team-leading 483 assists through NC State's first 21 matches this season. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETICS

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