Current Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:29:21 -0400
Opponent errors alone were not the only way the Tar Heels got the points they needed to improve their record to 18-5, 10-2 in the ACC.
North Carolina also swept Maryland 3-0 through its own strength — offensive domination.
Maryland gave North Carolina points on six errors in the first set to start Thursday night’s ACC match at Carmichael Arena, and although the Terrapins played stronger offensively during the second and third sets, the team still posted eight errors in each.
“Maryland’s a really good hitting team, and they made a lot of uncharacteristic errors, forcing them to keep the ball in play,” junior Emily McGee said. “That gave us a good chance to have our defense shine and for us to play any kind of offense we wanted.”
Coach Joe Sagula saw the strength in UNC’s defensive ability and in improvement in serving, in addition to its overall hitting.
“I think we really did a good job sealing the net well, and a second thing is that our serving was great,” he said. “We really got Maryland out of system for a lot of tonight.”
Sagula noted that the team’s hitting ratio was good, but said he did not feel it really told the tale of how UNC served and put pressure on the Terrapins. North Carolina was successful in its mere intimidation factor alone thanks to red-shirt freshman Chaniel Nelson, according to Sagula.
“The other thing that happened was that we got into a nice, good rhythm with our hitters,” he said.
The Terrapins’ 22 errors came from many areas, including service, attack and defensive mistakes, but sophomore Kayla Berringer felt that the Tar Heel victory came from their mentality and composure, not just from points given up by the opponent.
“When they are making errors, it builds us up, but we still have to stay composed,” she said. “If we’re not the ones scoring points, we still have to think about, ‘They still have a chance to come back and make less errors,’ and then it’s more competition for us.”
Although Maryland had a slight comeback, going on a 6-1 run in the second set, North Carolina took the set 25-20 and the third set 25-21 and secured the shutout by using Maryland’s miscues to its advantage.
But for freshman Cameron Van Noy, who had nine of the team’s ten blocks and eight kills, the North Carolina win came not just from Maryland’s faults, but a well-synced team playing to the best of its ability.
“I don’t really think it was that they made a lot of errors,” Van Noy said. “We did a really good job, and our coaches do a really good job of preparing us to be in these game situations so that we can be successful … I think that we really just went after it tonight.”
Contact the Sports Editor