A commitment to team play guided North Carolina to the victory. Six Tar Heels ended the match with five or more kills, evidence of a complete team showing.
“I’m proud of the fact that we found a different way to win,” head coach Joe Sagula said. “It was a really good team effort.”
While North Carolina only needed four sets to win on Friday, the match felt heavily contested throughout.
UNC fell behind in the second set after an 8-0 Syracuse run led to a four-point deficit for the Tar Heels. North Carolina would rally to win the second game and take a 2-0 lead in the match using the same principle that led them to winning in the first — team play.
Senior libero Mia Fradenburg has been a key contributor for the Tar Heels, leading the team this season with 284 digs and serving as a captain. Her on-court leadership has helped UNC remain in the top half of the conference standings.
If North Carolina were to win its remaining home games, the team would complete its first unbeaten ACC home-stand since Fradenburg’s sophomore year at UNC, when many of North Carolina’s key contributors were still in high school.
Of North Carolina’s 10 wins this season, seven of them have come in Carmichael Arena. Following a tumultuous start, the Tar Heels have gained momentum and have built a winning form during ACC play.
Following what would be considered a down season for the program — the team finished ACC play 4-14 in 2018 — recent in-conference success has ignited confidence in this year’s young North Carolina side.
Sagula decided not to call North Carolina’s success a hot-streak "yet" in the grand scheme of the season. He did, however, acknowledge that continuing to rip off conference victories has played an important role in the development of the team heading into the second half of the season.
“One of our goals is to be undefeated at home in the ACC,” Fradenburg said. “We make it a point every game to remind ourselves of that goal, and it's really fun to see us succeeding.”
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