Regardless of these standout performances, Sagula said he wasn't pleased with the overall outcome of the match — North Carolina only won one out of the four sets played.
“Our rhythm was off," Sagula said. "Our passing was up and down. We became one-dimensional. We did not do a good job of getting the ball to our middle-hitters tonight and score like we did (Friday)."
Sagula said the Tar Heels would evaluate their shortcomings on Sunday to learn how they can improve as a unit moving forward.
“Kaya Merkler, Amanda Phegley, Aristea Tontai, they got the ball, but Duke did a good job defending them and we didn’t have a B-plan for them,” Sagula said. “Perhaps the coaches needed to do some other type of planning, but we never adjusted enough. Realizing that we weren’t going to score as easily as we did (on Friday), that put some pressure on our outsides, and our outsides really did not score as well as they did (on Friday).”
Sagula said all aspects of the game were lacking for North Carolina, including the offense, defense, serving and coaching.
“We’ve got to work on our transition game,” Sagula said. “Our transition in defense to attack got a bit lazy. We need to work harder, and that’s really on the coaches. We also need to serve tougher. We had some untimely errors in the fourth set, especially when it was tied. Our strength in the game was also our Achilles.”
The Tar Heels' next games will take place this weekend at N.C. State, with matches being played on Friday and Sunday. The series against the Wolfpack will be UNC's final matches of the reduced ACC regular season.
“We’ve got to go back to what we normally do,” Sagula said. “We have to really work on our transition game and movement, getting off the net. We’re going to work on our serve-receive, and we really have to work on the rhythm of the ball to our left-side hitters.”
Sagula said he is optimistic that the team can turn around to get two wins on the road against the Wolfpack.
“We know we’ll have to face a tough N.C. State team,” Sagula said. “They have some great athletes, but we’re really going to challenge our team to get better this week.”
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