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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC volleyball dominates fifth and final set to claim close win over Wake Forest

Taylor Borup (4) jumps in the air for a block against Wake Forest on Sunday at Carmichael Arena.

Taylor Borup (4) jumps in the air for a block against Wake Forest on Sunday at Carmichael Arena.

Following a come-from-behind victory against Duke on Friday, the North Carolina volleyball team (7-7, 4-2 ACC) took the court against Wake Forest (10-8, 2-4 ACC) on Sunday and won its second straight game three sets to two.

What happened?

The first set went back and forth and both teams seemed evenly matched. The Tar Heels got out to an early lead in the first, but the Demon Deacons quickly claimed the lead, leaving UNC playing catchup. There were six ties in the first set, one of which was 15 all. The Deacons then went on a 10-2 run to end the first set, including six straight points at the end. 25-17 Wake.

The second set was almost a complete reversal from the second. Like the first set, UNC got out to an early led. This time, however, the Tar Heels held the lead the entire set, except for one tie at three apiece. Sophomore Taylor Borup propelled UNC in the second set with six kills, allowing UNC to win the second set 25-18 on an 8-3 run.

The third set featured 15 ties and six lead changes between the Tar Heels and the Deacons. Redshirt junior Taylor Leath provided fuel for the Tar Heels, recording five kills (including the set-sealing kill), two digs, and one block. The set went down to the very end, with UNC holding off Wake to win the set 25-23. This made the game 2-1 in North Carolina’s favor.

The fourth set was all Wake. The Deacons held the lead the entire set, jumping ahead early and never looking back. UNC wasn’t able to get anything going offensively, recording a .083 hitting percentage. Wake won the set 25-14, evening the score to two sets a piece.

The momentum shifted back to North Carolina in the fifth set. The Tar Heels quickly jumped out to a 7-2 lead, forcing a Deacon timeout. UNC kept its heat through the timeout, continuing to dominate Wake and winning the fifth set 15-5.

Who stood out?

It was all Taylor all the time. Both Taylor Leath and Taylor Borup dominated at the net, recording 10 and 15 kills, respectively. Leath also recorded nine digs and five blocks.

When was it decided?

The game came down to the last set, but the Tar Heels made it clear early on in the last set that they would come out with the victory. The Deacons appeared out of rhythm in the match's final set, and they walked out of Carmichael Arena with their third straight loss.

Why does it matter?

This was North Carolina’s second straight win for only the second time this season. The Tar Heels face off against a beatable Virginia Tech team next, which could provide them with their first three-game win streak of the season.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels face off against a struggling Virginia Tech team in the Smith Center on Friday at 5 p.m. before Late Night with Roy. The Hokies are 1-5 in conference play and have lost eight of their last ten games.

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