Current Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 01:55:53 -0400
After a heartbreaking loss to Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday, coach Joe Sagula said the North Carolina volleyball team needed a different approach if it was going to defeat Clemson on the road Saturday.
And the Tar Heels (22-5, 13-4 ACC) responded, defeating the Tigers (18-10, 9-8) 3-1 in what Sagula said was one of the best team wins of the 2012 season.
“We had some different contributions from different people throughout the weekend,” he said.
“There was a balance again of our attack on offense. I think that just goes to show that we’re not one or two-players oriented.”
Freshman Victoria McPherson, a middle blocker Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was key in making several of those offensive contributions.
McPherson recorded nine kills and 11 points, serving as the change of pace Sagula wanted Clemson to experience.
“She was great, she was on fire. She had nine kills in three sets … we just went with her,” he said.
“Victoria is still a freshman and learning the game, so any chance we can give her more high level experience is better for the future.”
This year’s freshmen class came in ranked as the eighth best recruiting class in the nation and McPherson said that is justifiable, as the group takes advantage of time on the court.
“We aren’t ranked eighth for nothing,” she said.
“We’re going out there and making sure that every time we get to go out there and play, we’re putting our all into it and making sure we’re helping our team.”
That attitude would help North Carolina win its final game on the road of regular season play, something that senior Emily McGee said was very rewarding.
McGee led the way with a game-high in digs, as she finished with 19. She coupled that effort with double-digit kills.
“The game was very emotional from both sides — lots of long rallies and scrappy defense,” McGee said.
Sagula said the team demonstrated its resliliency all while playing with confidence and playing well together.
“It just seems that we got lots of contributions from lots of people. I always say they are starters and finishers,” he said.
“And we had both.”
Contact the desk editor at email@example.com.