While their classmates were away for Fall Break, the North Carolina volleyball team stayed on campus to protect its home court.
The Tar Heels took on Maryland Friday night, defeating the Terrapins 3-1, and coasted to a 3-0 victory Saturday night against Boston College.
But the defeat of Maryland included a disconnected second set. North Carolina coach Joe Sagula said the loss of focus interrupted the team’s flow.
“One of our goals was to come out really strong, and we did,” he said. “We were up 18 to 10 in the first set against Maryland, and I was really pleased with how we were playing.”
But as the match progressed the Tar Heels seemed bored at points, Sagula said.
Middle blocker Paige Neuenfeldt said the Tar Heel lapse allowed Maryland to gain momentum and win the second set 25-22.
“We didn’t have that fighting mentality on every single point,” she said.
Consequently, Sagula said, no one was satisfied with the way the team played. But he said he was pleased the team was able to grab the victory and move forward.
“I knew we could play better. The whole team knew that wasn’t our best game,” he said.
But Neuenfeldt had one of her better individual games, leading all scorers with 18 points. She registered 14 kills, while outside hitters Emily McGee and Lauren Adkins recorded 12 and eight, respectively.
“I had really good connections with both setters in both games,” Neuenfeldt said. “We’ve been working on offense a lot and being smart with the ball.
“I thought it really showed in the past weekend because we had less errors and a higher (hitting) percentage.”
Neuenfeldt said the prevailing theme of the weekend was fighting for every point — a theme that would lead them to a 3-0 sweep of Boston College.
Adkins said her team’s three-set defeat of the Eagles is a good sign for the Tar Heels.
Boston College took Miami to five sets, a team that beat the Tar Heels earlier this season.
“I think that’s a pretty good indicator of where we are and what we’re capable of as far as competing in the ACC,” Adkins said.
Neuenfeldt had another strong hitting game, finishing the night with 13 kills — almost double what any player on either team racked up. Adkins compiled six kills, two blocks and one service ace.
Sagula said he was without question more pleased with the team’s play against Boston College than he was with Friday’s contest.
“I could not be happier about the fact that we came out of the weekend with two victories,” he said.
Contact the desk editor at
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.