RALEIGH — For the first time in 25 years, N.C. State’s volleyball team is headed to the NCAA Championships.
The Wolfpack (22-9, 12-8 ACC) is one of four ACC teams to earn a berth in the 64-team field, along with champion Florida State, Miami and North Carolina.
Third-year coach Bryan Bunn’s team will face Texas A&M on Thursday at 5 p.m. (EST) in Austin, Texas, in the school’s first NCAA match since the 1987 team lost 3-0 to Kentucky in the first round in Lexington, Ky. That is the only previous NCAA appearance in school history.
The Aggies, competing in their first season in the SEC, are 24-5 overall and 16-4 in the league, winning the Western Division and finishing second overall.
“I was confident that we had a shot,” Bunn said, after his team watched the announcement on ESPNU at a Raleigh restaurant. “These girls have always been greater than the sum of their parts.”
For Bunn, a successful coach at North Florida and Texas Lutheran, the invitation was even earlier than he expected when he was hired to take over the program in 2010.
“This was one of our goals when we got here, to make it into the NCAA tournament,” said Bunn, who has guided the Wolfpack to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1995-96.