It was the North Carolina volleyball team's defense that helped UNC soar over Duke on Thursday with a tough and gritty performance that had the Blue Devils unable to pull out a set.
Going into conference play with a record of 3-7, the North Carolina volleyball team (15-11, 12-4 ACC) has bounced back, regaining its rhythm on the court with the latest win coming in a 3-0 sweep against its rival (12-18, 5-12 ACC).
Fans piled into Carmichael Arena to see UNC take on the Blue Devils, and the energy pulsed through the stadium from the time the teams stepped onto the court. The Tar Heels gave their fans the show they were looking for, coming back in the first set to win it 26-24, and to seal the game with two 25-20 victories.
Every time UNC’s defense swatted away attempted attacks from the Blue Devils, fans cheered on the Tar Heels and shouted “Block party!”
North Carolina has now out-blocked 12 out of 16 conference opponents, ranking in at second in the ACC for blocks per set and third for total blocks. In Thursday’s game, UNC out-blocked Duke 11-4, led by junior Aristea Tontai with seven blocks of her own.