The Wolfpacker

September 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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ACC road victories and 13 straight tri- umphs. NC State finished 20-13 — the T ■ PREVIEW VOLLEYBALL school's first 20-win campaign and best win total since 1996 — and tied for sev- enth in the ACC for the team's best league placing since 1999. All of that was accom- plished despite 11 of the Pack's 19 players being in their first year on the team. BY RYAN TICE he Wolfpack volleyball program had its best season in more than 15 years last fall, setting school re- cords with eight ACC wins, four "Just from when I've been here, there have been so many improvements — our facilities, our equipment, everything. The coaches and the entire athletic department are on board to improve our program, and I've seen tremendous changes. Our com- petition level in practice is so much higher than it was when I first got here." "We're 180 degrees from where we were Wolfpack Will Use Last Season's Record-Breaking Campaign As A Springboard For 2012 BUILDING FOR MORE "It's great to see the product of all of the hard work that the girls have put in," third- year head coach Bryan Bunn said. "It was obviously very rewarding with all of the new girls that we had on the team. "We knew we could do that well, we could have even done a little bit better. That's what is so exciting for the girls, to know that we were just a few points away from maybe five more wins. To see that hard work pay off and gain that confidence is very beneficial." In State's two years under Bunn, the team has won 34 games — more than the previous five years combined. The 12 vic- tories against league foes over the past two seasons are equal to the Pack's ACC win total in the previous 12 years. Fifth-year senior setter Megan Cyr trans- ferred to Raleigh following her redshirt fresh- man year at Colorado, and she has seen im- provements across the board in the program. "It's really exciting to be a part of the change and see the results," she said. "I knew coming in here that was our goal. To have those sort of things happen in just two years is pretty amazing. I thought it might take a little longer, but to see results like that has been awesome. I hope and believe that this season holds bigger things. 70 ■ THE WOLFPACKER single-season assists (1,293) and attack average (.427) in the school's annals, noted that the Pack's six five-set losses last year actually indicate a positive sign for the fu- ture. NC State set an ACC record with six straight five-set matches in 2011, including close losses to Miami and Florida State, which were both ranked in the nation's top 25 at the time of competition. "That is where, this year, our experience from last year will show through," she said. "The fifth set comes down to who has more confidence in themselves and which team has been there. Last year, we had never been in those situations before. Now, we know how to win those games. I'm really excited to see how we respond to those situations this year. "We reached a lot of our goals last year, but there's still so much more we want to accomplish. Last year gave us the confi- dence to know that all of our goals are at- tainable; we just need to develop some grit and never give up. "We now have established ourselves as a team that can compete with anybody in the conference." Senior middle blocker Margaret Salata became the Pack's first All-ACC volleyball player in 13 years last season, and sev- when I got here," Bunn said. "Now, it's time to keep moving forward. We've got the right culture established, and we're working on it every day, making sure the girls have the right mentality. We're taking steps to get to the top of the conference." Cyr, who has played in all 235 sets since arriving in Raleigh and ranks No. 2 in was named to the preseason All-ACC team. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS Fifth-year senior setter Megan Cyr, who trained with the Canadian National Team this summer, eral players are striving for league honors this season. Cyr, who spent the summer training with the Canadian National Team, was named to the preseason all-conference squad. In addition, outside hitter Dariyan Hopper is looking to build off of her 2011 campaign, when she became the first ACC All-Freshman honoree for the Red and White since 2003. Cyr combines with defensive specialist/ libero Alexa Micek to give the Pack a solid tandem of senior captains.

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