“But it’s OK. It’s a great thing. You want that. That’s the emotion you value. That’s why you play the game.”
In the match, senior middle hitter Victoria McPherson tied for the team lead with 11 kills and had no attack errors.
McPherson described the week as “surreal,” and said everything might not hit her until Wednesday, when the Tar Heels face N.C. State in the final regular season home match for the seniors. She added the team did its best to recoup from the pregame festivities.
“It was a happy cry,” McPherson said.
“In the huddle, we were like, ‘Is everyone good?’ and then looking at each other’s mascara. And then we said, ‘OK, here we go.’”
Senior middle hitter Paige Neuenfeldt led the team with six block assists, becoming UNC’s all-time leader in block assists in the process. She currently has 467 in her time as a Tar Heel.
Neuenfeldt said she was happy her record was for block assists and not solo blocks, because it speaks to how well of a blocking team UNC has become.
“I would be nowhere without any of (my teammates),” she said.
“But it is very cool to leave a legacy in the Carolina books. It will be something to show your grandkids when you’re older.”
Sagula said the team will miss the quick kills of McPherson, the high energy kills of Neuenfeldt, the steady performance of senior outside hitter Leigh Andrew and the defensive saves from both senior defensive specialist Heather Gearhart and senior setter Jordyn Schnabl.
“They have come in here with a vision to be successful,” Sagula said.
“Just a standard of excellence and competitiveness that they’ve come in with.
“It will be hard to replace them. We’re going to understand this when we have our new group in here in August.”