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.
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.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.