AUSTIN, Texas — The Oregon State volleyball team fell to North Carolina State on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Set scores were 25-18, 19-25, 25-21, 21-15, 15-13.
It was the final college match for senior Mary-Kate Marshall, who posted a team-high 19 kills to go with two aces, eight digs and three blocks.
“I’m proud of what the team accomplished,” coach Mark Barnard said. “We have had a fantastic 12 months. Twelve months ago, we were sitting at home watching this tournament. That’s a big difference.
“It’s always hard to lose, but we were beaten by a better team. (NCSU) deserved to win. There's no doubt. They played the way we wanted to play.
“They didn’t allow us to play that way. We tried as hard as we possibly could. Unfortunately, we just didn't match up to them physically.”
N.C. State started the match on a roll, cruising to an early 13-6 lead in the opening set. Oregon State pulled together to close the gap to 14-10 but couldn’t sustain the momentum in surrendering the first set, 25-18.
OSU took a quick lead in the second set, but the score was back to even at 6-6. Eventually the Beavers were able to finish off the set, 25-19, with kills from Marshall and Haylie Bennett, who recorded five kills in the period.
With the match tied at a set apiece at intermission, both squads came out looking to gain the advantage in Set 3. It was a set of spurts, with the Wolfpack pulling it out, 25-21.
The Beavers had a strong fourth set, with back-to-back blocks by Kory Cheshire and Bennett securing it, 25-21.
In the decisive fifth set, the Beavers couldn’t get their offense rolling. Despite that, Cheshire and Marshall each served up an ace and Bennett and Serena Bruin added a block to give the Beavers an 8-5 advantage when the teams switched sides.
A series of sideouts left OSU ahead 10-7 until the Wolfpack came with another run, scoring four in a row to take the lead at 11-10. A kill by Marshall evened things up at 11-11, but again NCSU tacked on two to gain the lead at 13-11, which the Beavers were unable to overcome in dropping the set 15-13.
Marshall led the team in kills in 29 out of 33 matches this season; she finished her career with 1,915 kills. Freshman Grace Massey led three OSU players in double digits with 29 digs; junior Kayla Ellis and freshman Maddie Goings had 17 digs apiece.
Redshirt freshman Bennett, a Philomath High grad, tied her career high with seven blocks.