The North Carolina volleyball team was swept, 3-0, by Miami on Sunday afternoon in Coral Gables, Fla.
The Tar Heels (10-10, 7-5 ACC) just could not hang with the Hurricanes (14-4, 8-4 ACC).
It looked pretty good early on, though. UNC fought back from five down in the first set to tie it at 14-14. But that’s when Miami started to take control. The Hurricanes went on an 8-1 run and ended up taking the first set, 25-21.
The second set was pivotal for this game, as it is in many matches. North Carolina once again found itself fighting back from a deficit, this time a 19-11 lead for the Canes. The Tar Heels cut that lead to four, but just couldn’t finish the set. Miami won the second set, 25-18.
The third set was not as close. The Tar Heels gave every this they could in the for the first half of the set, but Miami wore them down. The Hurricanes ran away with the clinching set 25-18.
UNC simply couldn’t stop Miami’s Olga Strantzali. The senior from Greece tallied a match-high 15 kills, including all three set points for the Hurricanes.
Who stood out?
Holly Carlton had a solid day despite the poor outing as a team. She led the team with 14 assists and also notched three kills and two blocks. The redshirt first-year has become an important player on this team, and she’s only grown as the year has gone on.
Senior Beth Nordhorn also played well. She finished with eight kills on the day with a .500 hitting percentage.
When was it decided?
The end of the second set was straw that broke the camel’s back for North Carolina.
For the second set, the Tar Heels had trimmed down a Miami lead. But when the set was in striking distance, they faltered. This kind of set is demoralizing for any team, but it was devastating for UNC.
It made the match 2-0 and the team was noticeably unsettled. This is when the Hurricanes went to work and sealed the game.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina looked like it was finally putting the pieces together in ACC play. A win against NC State earlier in the month made for five straight conference wins.
But UNC has not won since. It hasn’t even won a set. This loss to Miami makes three consecutive sweeps for the Tar Heels, and they are back to piecing things together.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will return to Chapel Hill to take on Boston College this Friday at 6:30 p.m.
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