The North Carolina volleyball team defeated High Point in straight sets on Friday to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament (25-13, 25-12, 25-23).
UNC (28-3, 19-1 ACC) raced out to a red-hot start in the first set, leading 15-8 at the first timeout and capitalizing on some Panther overpasses to slam home some easy kills. Holding High Point (23-10) to a .054 hitting percentage, the Tar Heels cruised to a 25-13 set win. First-year Julia Scoles led the way with four kills and seven digs in the set.
Scoles picked up where she left off in the second set, getting two service aces early in the set to force a timeout at 7-2. UNC made mistakes down the stretch, including some overpasses that made for easy kills for High Point, but the Panthers' attack errors kept UNC in control. High Point’s -.133 set hit percentage did it no favors, as the Tar Heels coasted to a 25-12 second-set win.
UNC started well again in the third set, but some timely High Point blocks brought the Panthers within one at 8-7. The Panthers stuck with the Tar Heels throughout the third set, as High Point found chinks in the stalwart defense UNC had in the first two sets. The Panthers brought UNC to a tie several times late in the set, but UNC proved to be too much down the stretch, making quality kills out from Beth Nordhorn to close out High Point 25-23 in the final set.
Who stood out?
Scoles, the newly-crowned ACC Freshman of the Year, shined under the bright lights of her first collegiate postseason game. She finished with a team-high nine kills, 16 digs and three aces.