The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday September 18th

UNC volleyball plagued by slow start, swept on the road by Florida State

<p>The UNC volleyball team gathers during a timeout on Friday night in Carmichael Arena.</p>
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The UNC volleyball team gathers during a timeout on Friday night in Carmichael Arena.

Be present. 

According to head coach Joe Sagula, that’s the motto for the North Carolina volleyball team. 

The Tar Heels are no strangers to being down two sets to none in a match. In fact, that’s when they tend to perform their best.

However, on Friday night in Tallahassee, UNC (10-9, 7-4 ACC) did not have enough power to overcome Florida State (12-7, 6-5 ACC). 

“We have been struggling with that type of start all season,” Sagula said. “We didn’t live up to our motto tonight.” 

From the start, things did not look good for the Tar Heels after being down 6-0 in the first set. The first sign of life for UNC came from a kill by middle hitter Katharine Esterley to halt the Seminoles' 6-0 run. 

The closest that UNC came to catching back up to FSU in that first set occurred when the team was down by three points — when the score sat at 9-6. North Carolina would go on to only score five more points for the remainder of the first set as the Seminoles dominated in an 11-25 win. 

In the second set, the Tar Heels took its first lead of the match when outside hitter Taylor Leath tallied a kill to make the score 17-16. The UNC lead would not last long, though. Following a bad set by Leath, Florida State regained the upper hand with a score of 21-20 and did not relinquish its lead in its 25-22 second set win.

The best play of the night for the Tar Heels came in the third set.  

Contrary to the first two sets of play, UNC earned the first point of the set with a kill by redshirt first-year Holly Carlton.

The Tar Heels were able to maintain the lead until a kill by Florida State put the score at 10-11. The lead was juggled back and forth between both teams until it seemed as if UNC was going to pull away after middle hitter Beth Nordhorn’s eighth kill of the set put the score at 23-19. The Seminoles were able to climb back into the match after the Tar Heels committed three consecutive errors to tie the score at 23-23. 

Florida State closed out the third set with three straight points to earn a 27-25 set win and a 3-0 match victory.

“We see everything as an opportunity," Nordhorn said. "And this is another one for us to turn around and do our best."

North Carolina will look to bounce back from its two straight losses on Sunday at Miami at 1 p.m. 

@jordymae012

sports@dailytarheel.com

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