Led by strong serves from redshirt junior Taylor Fricano, UNC went on a 7-0 run to capture a 22-13 lead. This let Tar Heels easily clinch a 25-16 win and go up 2-0.
By the third set, the Cavaliers were gassed.
The skill and attack of North Carolina took over in the second set and continued to dominate the third. This set was never in danger for the Tar Heels, as they cruised to a 25-18 victory to win the match 3-0.
Who stood out?
Taylor Fricano had a stellar night. She had a solid six kills and a game-high seven blocks. But where she really stood out was five service aces, which is especially impressive considering she came into the match with just 12 on the season.
Junior Beth Nordhorn was extremely efficient. She tallied eight kills was one of the strongest hitters for the Tar Heels.
Senior Abigail Curry was dubbed the defensive player of the game by Coach Joe Sagula. She ended with 10 digs and she was setting up her hitters all night.
When was it decided?
The second set was back and forth early. But with the score resting at 15-13 in the Tar Heels favor, a Virginia service error gave the serve to UNC. Fricano went up to serve, but her release was off, so she aggressively chased the hit.
That turned into an ace, and the run was on.
Beth Nordhorn added to the North Carolina lead with a kill. Not to be outdone, the Fricano answered with three aces back-to-back-to-back after a Virginia error. Four of her game-high five aces came in this run, which buried the Cavaliers.
The run left the Tar Heels gushing with confidence, and they sealed the second and third sets with relative ease.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina is playing some of its best volleyball of the season, and it couldn’t come at a better time. UNC is on a six-game ACC winning streak, with three of those wins being sweeps. With two games remaining in the conference schedule, North Carolina has a chance to clinch the ACC title.
Where do they play next?
The Tar Heels continue their home stretch against Duke at 2 p.m. Wednesday. With a potential conference title on the line, this definitely not a game to miss.