The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday December 7th

Tar Heels Cruise Past Davidson

Setter Eve Rackham, playing in the back row, hit the ball solidly over the net. The ball caromed off three Davidson players and into the stands. Rackham got the kill.

It was that kind of day for No. 18 UNC, as all 15 Tar Heels saw action and breezed past Davidson, 3-0.

"It was important to have everybody contribute to tonight and for us to be rested and ready for this weekend with the tougher matches," said UNC coach Joe Sagula.

The Tar Heels (9-1) were focused in their first game since then-No. 13 Minnesota snapped their season-opening eight-game winning streak Saturday. Sagula said the key to Tuesday's game was a strong practice on Monday.

"We just knew we had to come out and have a really focused practice yesterday and prepare ourselves to beat Davidson and make a statement while beating them," said outside hitter Laura Greene. "We were confident we were going to win the match going into it, and just needed to make sure that we came out and put up good numbers."

UNC put up very good numbers in game one. Led by sophomore Molly Pyles, who had four kills in four attempts, the Tar Heels recorded a season-high .643 attack percentage. Rackham had 16 assists for UNC as they won easily, 30-15.

During game two, players started trickling off the Tar Heel bench. Rackham and starting middle hitters Holly Strauss and Aletha Green sat out the rest of the night.

UNC started off a little sloppy, going back and forth with the Wildcats for the first 12 points, before breaking the game open with a 14-4 run. Redshirt freshman Camilla Ihenetu sent a kill off the fingertips of two Davidson players to get the game's winning point.

The trickle from the North Carolina bench turned into a downpour in game three, as UNC's starting lineup featured only sophomores and freshmen.

The Tar Heels received an early scare when defensive specialist Taylor Rayfield banged her head on the floor while making a diving attempt. She walked off the court on her own, but did not return.

UNC's inexperience showed, and avoidable mistakes prevented the Tar Heels from pulling away. However, with Davidson leading, 25-21, Sagula called a timeout to break the momentum. The Tar Heels responded, and went on a 9-4 run to close out the match with a 30-28 win.

UNC faces tough opponents this weekend in Georgetown and Rutgers. However, the Tar Heels are not backing down from the challenge.

"What am I looking forward to?" Pyles asked. "Playing well."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu

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