Setters boost volleyball team past Pittsburgh

The North Carolina volleyball team relied on two setters in Sunday’s win against Pittsburgh — freshman Abigail Curry and sophomore Jordyn Schnabl.

The duo has recorded 868 assists so far this season. Coach Joe Sagula has been alternating between the two players to set his hitters up for success.

“What we’re trying to do is match up who sets certain hitters in a better rhythm,” Sagula said.

“Sometimes they seem to get into a really good sync, so if they’re in good rhythm, we try to work with that.”

Curry matches up with senior outside hitter Kayla Berringer, and Schnabl is paired with junior outside hitter Lauren Adkins.

The two easily sub in and out with their hitters. Sunday, both setters recorded 23 assists — the first time all season the two have tied in that category.

“We’re very competitive either way — when we’re on opposite sides of the net and when we’re on the same side,” Schnabl said. “We try to push each other to carry the same chemistry with the team because we don’t want anything to change when either of us are in.”

Sagula said that similarity between Curry and Schnabl keeps the team’s play consistent throughout personnel changes.

“You don’t want to have a big difference in style and technique,” Sagula said. “They pretty much try to put up a similar type of ball so we don’t notice a difference on outside. And hopefully opponents don’t notice anything either.”

But switching between two setters is a big change for this year’s Tar Heels.

Last season, setter Cora Harms comfortably took the starting position totaling 13 service aces and leading the team with 885 assists. She graduated in May, leaving the starting setter role up for grabs.

“It’s not just a simple thing of, ‘We want to start one,’” Sagula said. “A little thought goes into how we want to start and finish.”

Curry got the start Sunday, but Sagula said he planned to continue utilizing both players in starting positions for the remainder of the season.

“I think they’re going to stay balanced out. I think that’s been the strength of our team,” Sagula said.

“It’s just a matchup thing. It depends on who we play and that’s going to determine how we go.”

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