The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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70 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY RYAN TICE L ast year's volleyball senior class was a special one. The quintet left NC State as the first group to re- cord a winning record each year on campus since 1984, while its 78 wins were the most for a departing class since 1988. Now the team must conquer the chal- lenge of replacing them, and they must do so with a young squad. The Wolfpack's roster boasts just two seniors and a pair of juniors, and the rest are underclassmen — five sophomores and six freshmen. "It should be an exciting time," sixth-year head coach Bryan Bunn said. "We'll have to kind of re-identify who we are and our team character with the loss of those five kids. It's a great time to find a new identity, and we're headed in the right direction. "We might struggle a little early, but I know we'll get it together by midseason." Only one active player — senior Mor- gan Cormier — was on the roster in 2012, when the Pack became the school's first volleyball squad since 1987 to reach the NCAA Tournament (fellow senior Tanna Aljoe played at San Diego State that sea- son). Cormier returned from a torn ACL to earn all-tournament honors at the NC State Courtyard Midtown Classic last year and should lead the team this fall. ■ PREVIEW VOLLEYBALL ■ Key Games • NC State Double Tree Cary Classic, Sept. 18‑19 — NCSU is scheduled to face three squads at the second of two tournaments it will host at Carmichael Gymnasium on campus. After playing Campbell on Friday, the Wolfpack will square off against Hampton and Tennessee on Saturday. The Volunteers represent the final non-conference match of the season. • Vs. North Carolina, Oct. 7 — The Pack wel - comes its biggest rival to Broughton High School in this matchup. Last year's ACC champions made it to the NCAA regional finals and should provide NC State with a great barometer of its progress. • Vs. Florida State, Oct. 18 — While UNC won the ACC crown last year, FSU also went deep in the NCAA Tournament and actually finished with more wins (30) than the Tar Heels. It's another tough challenge the young team looks forward to playing. Newcomer To Watch Freshman setter Becky Porter — The Charlotte native was a 2014 High School Under Armour All-America third-team selection after a stellar senior season at Providence High. She was also named South Meck 8 Conference Player of the Year and her squad's MVP in her final campaign. The 6-1 athlete logged 833 assists, 255 digs, 114 kills, 63 blocks and 52 service aces while helping her team to a 4A state runner-up finish. Young But Talented A Large Group Of Underclassmen Will Try To Keep NC State On The Right Path Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn Kearney led NC State in kills (277), blocks (118) and points scored (360.5) last season. PHOTO BY LARRY BLANKENSHIP

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