The North Carolina women’s volleyball team had a chance to earn road victories over two marquee ACC programs this weekend.
Instead, they return to Chapel Hill with a 0-2 record in the state of Florida and are two games behind the conference leader.
The Tar Heels (13-4, 4-3) were swept 3-0 Friday night by No. 13 Florida State (14-2, 6-1) in a game that was hotly contested despite the final score.
UNC lost each set by two points (25-23, 26-24, 25-23).
UNC had its chances to win each set, but untimely errors haunted UNC and ultimately cost it the match.
Coach Joe Sagula said that the Tar Heels’ failure to finish is what gave FSU the opportunity to win.
“It wasn’t so much what Florida State did, it’s what we didn’t do,” Sagula said. “Each time you could sense the momentum going in our way, all we needed to do was finish with a positive point and we couldn’t do it.”
Junior Kayla Berringer agreed that the Tar Heels were unable to finish off each game the way they wanted to.
“A lot of it was that we didn’t close the game,” she said. “We were in it every single game and it just came down to our inability to finish. Being consistent the whole way through the game — that was our problem.”
The Florida State crowd rattled the Tar Heels, resulting in several UNC miscues.
The Tar Heels committed 21 attack errors, many of which came late in sets when they desperately needed the points.
UNC looked to rebound from its tough loss when it faced Miami (14-3, 6-1) Sunday afternoon.
Again, blown chances and ugly errors at the worst times cost the Tar Heels late in sets, causing them to lose their second consecutive game.
Berringer said the results of the FSU game seemed to carry over into their match against Miami.
“The first two sets were pretty tight — it was just a factor of being able to close the game,” Berringer said. “It’s a learning thing that we’re going to have to work on in practice this week.”
The Hurricanes recorded 18 total blocks, the third most in Miami history, but the 35 attack errors by the Tar Heels sealed UNC’s defeat.
Up 23-20 in the second set, an attack error by UNC gave the Hurricanes the momentum they needed to even the score and eventually take the set.
Though the Tar Heels won the third set, the hole they dug themselves earlier in the match simply was too much to overcome and UNC lost the match 3-1.
Senior Cora Harms expressed frustration over the team failing to finish sets in recent games as well and said it would be a point of emphasis this week in practice.
“How we practice this week is going to carry over to our games. We really need to work on not taking any mental breaks and mental lapses so that in games we won’t have that problem.”
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