Leading 9-6 in the third set, the Tar Heels appeared well on their way to victory, but the Eagles answered with a 7-1 run. UNC fought back to even the score at 16, but Boston College scored nine of the set’s final 12 points to pull away 25-19 and force a fourth set.
North Carolina’s woes continued in the fourth set with 11 errors total in the set — seven on attack, three more on services and one on blocking. Once deadlocked at 14, Boston College pulled away to take the fourth set 25-21 and force a fifth and deciding set.
Facing a potentially devastating collapse, UNC fought off three match points and finally took the fifth set 21-19 to avoid disaster.
Who stood out?
Once again, Julia Scoles and Taylor Treacy lead the Tar Heel offense.
Scoles, a first-year from Mooresville, posted her sixth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 12 digs, both good for second on the team.
Scoles was only outdone by her teammate Treacy, who hit .370 and lead all players with 16.5 points. The redshirt senior from Columbia, South Carolina, also lead the Tar Heels with 15 kills, a season high — including five in the deciding set.
When was it decided?
Typically, a 2-0 lead leaves the following sets as purely cosmetic with the outcome very much decided.
However, Sunday’s match was far from typical and this game was not truly decided until Jill Strockis’ hit fell long for the Eagles.
Boston College held three match points, while North Carolina held four — finally executing on the final one to secure a much needed victory.
Why does it matter?
The victory provided UNC with a number of positives, while leaving quite a few questions still to be answered.
The Tar Heels once again showed fight while facing adversity on the road, escaping three match points and gaining valuable experience for the future. The win also keeps UNC on pace atop the ACC at 2-0 and extends the Tar Heels’ perfect record against the Eagles to 20-0.
The fact that UNC had to fight so hard to escape against a team with a record below .500 could also be telling once the Tar Heels face stiffer competition. UNC made too many errors in the last three sets, and a more competitive opponent likely would have taken advantage.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on Friday at 7 p.m. The match is UNC’s third of four consecutive road games to open ACC play.