But the momentum was short-lived. The fourth set saw seven lead changes and nine ties, with the Fighting Irish ultimately securing the win and forcing the match to go to a fifth set.
After getting off to a 6-1 start in the fifth set, UNC let Notre Dame back in to tie the score 6-6. With the score tied at 13-13, two kills by redshirt sophomore Taylor Leath secured the 15-13 victory for the Tar Heels.
The match was a defensive clinic. The Fighting Irish put up 95 total digs, the most of any team this season against the Tar Heels’ dominant offensive unit. Not to be outdone, UNC totaled 107 digs during the match, the highest in the program's past five years.
Who stood out?
Doyle had the match of her career, posting 40 total digs — the most by a Tar Heel since 2005 — topping her 35-dig performance last season against the Fighting Irish. Her father attended Notre Dame and her mom the neighboring St. Mary’s, and the atmosphere certainly seems to work in Doyle’s favor.
Once again, Scoles put up big numbers for the Tar Heels with a career-high 23 kills. This week, the first-year became the second Tar Heel ever to win back-to-back ACC Player of the Week honors.
When was it decided?
With the score tied at 13-13 in the fifth set, UNC Coach Joe Sagula took a time-out. Not one player looked worried, and he told them that they were going to get the next two kills to win the game.
Leath delivered two consecutive kills to seal the deal.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels demonstrated their resiliency in a high-profile conference match-up. The match was the team’s sixth to go to five sets, and they have now won five of the six.
UNC remains undefeated in ACC play and is favored to win the conference.
When do they play next?
Tar Heels play at Louisville on Sunday at 1 p.m.