The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday October 19th

UNC tops Davidson in three sets, improves to 11-0 record

In the Sept. 18 game against Davidson, junior libero and defensive specialist Karenna Wurl (21) serves the ball. UNC won three out of three sets.
Buy Photos In the Sept. 18 game against Davidson, junior libero and defensive specialist Karenna Wurl (21) serves the ball. UNC won three out of three sets.

A day after beating Charlotte in three straight sets, the North Carolina volleyball team put together another dominant 3-0 victory against in-state foe Davidson (4-6), improving to 11-0. 

What happened:

UNC and Davidson exchanged blows early in the first set until the Tar Heels scored four unanswered points to put them up 11-6 and force Davidson to call a timeout. UNC picked up right where it left off after the timeout by going on a 5-2 scoring run to put them ahead 16-8. After another Davidson timeout, North Carolina opened up its lead and won the set 25-16. 

The Tar Heels went back and forth with Davidson early in the second set and trailed 6-5 before scoring seven unanswered points to give them a 12-6 advantage. Davidson rallied midway through the set, trimming the Tar Heels’ lead to three. UNC maintained control of the set and won 25-19 despite the Wildcats’ strong comeback attempt.

The third set was also tightly contested, as North Carolina never led by more than four until first-year outside hitter Mabrey Shaffmaster put the Heels up 13-8. The Wildcats made a strong comeback effort, however, and tied the set at 14-14. After a UNC timeout, Davidson claimed a 20-19 lead, forcing another UNC timeout. The set remained close until UNC pulled away late to take the set 25-23 and win the match 3-0. 

Who stood out: 

The front row, primarily comprised of first-year outside hitter Mabrey Shaffmaster, fifth-year outside hitter Nia Robinson and fifth-year hitter Emily Zinger, each had double-digit kills. Shaffmaster and Robinson tallied a team-high thirteen kills each, while Zinger recorded 10 kills. Zinger also recorded two of the team’s five blocks. All three players had a kill percentage of at least 50 percent and a hit percentage of at least 35 percent.

Additionally, junior libero Karenna Wurl and fifth-year setter Meghan Neelon made a team-high 11 and eight digs, respectively. Neelon also made a game-high 24 assists. 

When was it decided: 

Despite the match ending in a 3-0 sweep, the match wasn’t decided until late in the third set, with the game tied at 23. The Wildcats made a costly service error to put UNC up 24-23, then Robinson prevented the match from going into a fourth set by lofting a hit over the top of the Davidson front row and scoring the game-winning kill. 

Why does it matter: 

The win maintains the Tar Heels unblemished record and keeps them undefeated heading into ACC play. Additionally, an 11-0 record keeps the Tar Heels in a three-way tie for first place in the ACC with Louisville and Pittsburgh. With one-loss teams Miami, Syracuse and Georgia Tech trailing closely behind in the ACC standings, UNC needs all the wins it can get to stay in the top-tier of the ACC.   

Who do they play next: 

The Tar Heels will break the three-way tie atop the ACC when they host the undefeated Pittsburgh Panthers on Friday at 6 p.m.

@coopermetts 

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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