“That second set was amazing to come from behind,” said Coach Joe Sagula.
“I don’t know if we could do that if we’re not at home.”
With the crowd fiercely behind them, UNC firmly controlled the third set, holding the Cardinal to a .150 hitting percentage to secure the improbable win — tied for the highest-ranked victory in school history.
But with just two wins to their name this season, the Tar Heels know not to be content with their home-opening statement.
“Now we have to learn how to do this when we get on the road,” Sagula said.
“I’d love to think that we’re great at home, but we’re going to have a lot of other battles this year. But I think there’s a comfort level, the rhythm of the game, the confidence level, (that) just happens when you’re on your court. Our offense came alive.” — Sagula on playing at home.
Neuenfeldt put the team on her back during Thursday’s contest.
The preseason All-ACC middle hitter converted her first eight kills of the evening, finishing the match with a .533 hitting percentage and sparking numerous Tar Heel rallies.
Three numbers that matter
1: UNC home losses since 2012. The Tar Heels have won 46 of their last 47 matches in Carmichael Arena.
9: Service errors for Stanford, as the Cardinal struggled to get the ball across the net throughout the match.
.619: UNC’s hitting percentage during the first set. The Tar Heels’ attack cooled as the match progressed but still out-hit Stanford in each set.
The Tar Heels will host UNC-Wilmington on Friday at 6:00 pm in Carmichael Arena. Their next game won’t be for another week against Michigan State.