After matching its highest-ranked win in program history the previous night, the North Carolina volleyball team fell in five sets (25-17, 20-25, 25-20, 20-25, 13-15) to the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks on Friday night.
The loss marked the first time UNC (2-5) has lost in Carmichael Arena since a 3-0 defeat against Duke on Oct. 11, 2013.
At the beginning of the first set, the Seahawks (6-1) kept the match close by tying the score on three different occasions. But with a 7-6 lead, the Tar Heels used a 14-4 run to create a 21-10 advantage, and UNC-W could not recover. In the opening set, the Seahawks had just nine kills and were held to a .129 hitting percentage.
UNC-W grabbed its first lead of the game in second set, eventually obtaining a 16-13 edge. UNC closed the gap to 21-19, but the Tar Heels ended the set with four attack errors. In the entire set, UNC had 11 errors while UNC-W had only four.
UNC bounced back in the third set, despite a dismal .125 hitting percentage. The Seahawks opened the game with a kill, but they never led again in the set. But UNC-W kept pressuring the Tar Heels. The Seahawks tied the match at 2-2, with 14 kills and only three errors in the fourth set.
In the fifth and deciding set, UNC seemed to gain control with an 11-8 lead. But three attack errors by the Tar Heels and a kill by UNC-W’s Nicole Lott pushed the Seahawks in front. UNC-W never surrendered the lead after that point.
“We never came to battle when we really needed to. I take responsibility for not getting them as prepared for what they needed to do tonight.” — Coach Joe Sagula, on Friday’s loss.
Redshirt junior Hayley McCorkle had 19 kills against UNC-W, which is the highest single-game total for any Tar Heel this season.
Three numbers that matter
15: Total number of blocks by the Seahawks in Friday's match.
41: The number of hitting errors by UNC — nearly doubling UNCW’s total errors, 22.
700: The number of days between tonight’s loss and the last time UNC dropped a game at home.
The Tar Heels will host Michigan State on Sept. 18 at 6 pm.
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