The North Carolina volleyball team (15-4, 4-4 ACC) swept Syracuse (14-6, 3-5 ACC) on Sunday afternoon for its fourth consecutive victory.
After trailing for much of the beginning of the first set, the Tar Heels managed an 11-4 run to take the lead, eventually taking it by a score of 25-22. UNC is undefeated when winning the first set this season.
The second set was equally as exciting as Syracuse went on a rapid 4-0 run towards the end of the set to tie the score at 21 and forced UNC to make a quick substitution. The Tar Heels then won the next four points on three kills and a service ace to go up by a match score of 2-0.
The third set was a nail-biter as UNC did not take its first lead until midway through with a score of 11-10. The two teams then traded points as the lead continued to flip sides with Syracuse holding its final lead of the game at 22-21. The Tar Heels then rattled off four points in a row to clinch the match.
Who stood out?
The UNC offense stood out as a whole, putting up a very dominant performance.
Syracuse had very few answers for graduate transfer Nia Robinson and first-year Mabrey Shaffmaster, specifically, as they combined for 23 points. Robinson was responsible for 8 kills and had a hitting percentage of 0.462, while Shaffmaster put up 15 kills and had a hitting percentage of 0.154.
On the defensive side, redshirt sophomore Olivia Diaz led the team in digs with nine.
When was it decided?
Despite leading 2-0 heading into the third set, the Tar Heels never managed to shake the Orange, who hung around until the very end.
After trading points throughout the final set, UNC pulled ahead to a 23-22 lead following a close call by the line judge. Shaffmaster was responsible for winning the next two points on a kill and forcing a Syracuse error to secure the match point.
Why does it matter?
Syracuse came into the game ranked three spots ahead of the Tar Heels in the ACC, but today’s loss marks the fourth in a row for the Orange.
The Tar Heels, meanwhile, have now won four games in a row with two coming on its road trip this weekend. UNC now leads the Orange in the all-time series, 11-2, and is 5-1 at Syracuse.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will take on the N.C. State at home this Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. The Wolfpack is ranked just one spot ahead of North Carolina in the ACC and is also coming into the game with a four-game winning streak.
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