The first set woes however, did not follow into the second set, as the Tar Heels were able to command and early. Going up by as much as 10 points in the early part of the set, North Carolina had contributions all over the court. The team came away with a commanding 25-13 second-set victory.
The Eagles came back strong again in the third set looking to not be swept by North Carolina. Early the set resulted in a 10-10 tie, but the Tar Heels were able to pull away late and with a loud crowd standing on its feet, North Carolina was able to come away with a 25-15 set win to sweep the Eagles 3-0.
Who stood out?
Returning for her first match since Sept. 18, sophomore Mia Fradenburg had an early impact on the Tar Heels offense. After getting the clear from team doctors on Thursday night, Fradenburg returned to the starting lineup as libero.
Fradenburg had a career night as well in her return as she recorded nine assists on the night. Head coach Joe Sagula was pleased to have Fradenburg’s presence back in the lineup as it opened up opportunities for the team’s hitters.
“She is the most veteran, I think one of the things that helped her get that position early is her ability to handle second ball with nice tempo,” Sagula said. “So I think it was something that put some comfort for the hitters to know the tempo of the ball, it just makes them a little more relaxed.”
Taylor Borup also had a nice performance for North Carolina with a team-leading 11 kills on the night.
When was it decided?
After a tight first set, the Tar Heels defense stood strong the rest of the night, holding the Eagles to no more than 15 points in the next two.
The offense was in full rhythm. It registered its first first-set win since Oct. 18 against N.C. State and only its third sweep of the season.
Why does it matter?
This season has been full of ups and downs for the Tar Heels, and after a three-match slide, North Carolina needed a win to keep its tournament chances alive.
Friday’s win puts the Tar Heels back above .500 again and marks a strong 10-1 record at home this season. With key players returning and a dominating win, North Carolina will look to build on the win to finish its season strong.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels play again at home in as part of a four-match home stretch against a strong 17-8 Syracuse team on Sunday at 1 p.m.