Wednesday's contest against Florida State marked the final game of the 2018 season for the North Carolina volleyball team. In a finale to a season that featured a rollercoaster ride of emotions, the Tar Heels were swept, 3-0, by the Seminoles at Carmichael Arena.
One of the high points on that ride was the recognition of seniors, setter Kendra Koetter, libero Casey Jacobs and opposite hitter Madison Laufenberg before the match on Senior Day. The entire team had to be reminded that there was a match about to commence as all the players took part in a group hug for the three soon-to-be graduates.
The Tar Heels (8-19, 4-14 ACC) were heavy underdogs against the Seminoles (18-9, 14-3 ACC), but that didn’t stop North Carolina from putting up a fight. UNC jumped ahead to a quick five-point lead in the first set thanks to some big effort plays, like Koetter sliding into the scorekeeper’s table in an attempt to save a volley.
North Carolina was unable to maintain that early lead, finishing the first set with a hit percentage of just .171 compared to .378 for Florida State. Head coach Joe Sagula shared his thoughts after the game about the Tar Heels missing some key opportunities.
“In the timeout, I told the girls we have to take advantage of this,” Sagula said. “We have to make sure we’re making our serves, make sure we’re making the extra effort on defense.”