With their backs against the wall, Tar Heels stepped up in a tight fourth set. Tied with Pittsburgh 21-21, UNC made an important push to take the fourth set 25-23 on a kill by first-year outside hitter Taylor Borup.
North Carolina grabbed the first point in the final set, but Pittsburgh stayed strong. The Panthers took an 8-5 lead and looked to clinch the upset. Pittsburgh continued to dominate the fifth set 15-6 to hand UNC its first loss of the ACC campaign.
Who stood out?
Redshirt sophomore Taylor Leath had solid game, with a team-leading 17 kills and a .273 hitting percentage.
Borup also had a strong showing on offense, tallying 13 kills. Borup and Leath were the primary attackers for UNC, which is missing one of its best hitters in Julia Scoles.
Pittsburgh first-year Nika Markovic took over the match. She had 19 kills, including four in the final frame.
When was it decided?
Tied 4-4 in the last set, UNC had a chance to make a game-winning run. But three straight kills by the Panthers put UNC behind 7-4, rattling the North Carolina squad.
The Tar Heels lost their composure and Pittsburgh capitalized on the opportunity. UNC earned one point back, but then gave up a 6-0 run that built an insurmountable 13-5 deficit. Every Pittsburgh run was a blow to the Tar Heels, and this was the knock-out punch. Pittsburgh cruised to a 15-6 win to clinch the match and a big win for Head Coach Dan Fisher.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels set their best ACC start in school history at 11-0 and are in the midst of a four-game road stint. Dropping this game opens the door for Florida State to contend the conference title race, forcing the Tar Heels to tighten their game with a good portion of the season remaining.
Where do they play next?
North Carolina travels to Florida to take on Miami at 7 p.m. on Friday.