The North Carolina volleyball team (5-7, 2-2 ACC) fell short in its matchup against Georgia Tech (7-8, 2-2 ACC) on Sunday, 3-1.
North Carolina started off hot with blocks by Sydnye Fields and Katharine Esterley to put the Tar Heels up 2-0 in the first set. The Yellow Jackets came back to tie it up, but two aces put UNC ahead 13-11. GT responded with a 4-0 run, and the Tar Heels could not quite get back in it. The Yellow Jackets went on to win the first set 25-19.
The momentum switched in favor of the Tar Heels in the second set. After leading 6-4, key blocks by Beth Nordhorn and Holly Carlton ignited a run to put UNC ahead 13-5. Georgia Tech won four straight points, but back-to-back kills by Taylor Leath widened the Tar Heels’ gap to 17-9. The Yellow Jackets attempted a comeback, but UNC held on to win 25-21.
The third set consisted of a series of lead changes, but a Carlton kill and ace put the Tar Heels up 19-17. Another run by the Yellow Jackets and a UNC attack error put GT up 23-22. After a UNC timeout, a Sehrena Hull kill tied it back up for the Tar Heels 23-23, but GT took the final two points to take the third set 25-23.
The fourth set once again saw several lead changes until the ACC foes found themselves tied at 21-21. But the momentum swung in Georgia Tech’s favor as the Yellow Jackets scored three in a row to finish the set 25-22, and win the match 3-1.
Who stood out?
Nordham once again proved to be a crucial component of the Tar Heels’ offense. The current ACC leader in hitting percentage posted 11 kills and four blocks.
Casey Jacobs held up the defensive front with 21 digs. She also played a pivotal role in the serving game, putting up nine aces in the match.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels have fallen victim to the injury bug this season, and their record reflects it. After two straight ACC wins, the loss against Georgia Tech sets them back, even after posting a season-high 14.5 blocks and nine aces.
This Friday’s match against cross-town rival Duke could be a turning point in the Tar Heels’ season.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels host the No. __ Duke Blue Devils this Friday at 6:30 p.m.