Following a streak of four straight losses to open conference play, the North Carolina volleyball team (14-4, 3-4 ACC) won its third consecutive game on Friday night, sweeping Boston College (12-9, 2-5 ACC) on the road.
The opening set began as a back-and-forth affair with neither side able to get more than a three-point lead for much of the first half of the set. The start of the set also saw both teams struggling to get into a rhythm with maintaining service, as there was an eight-point run where the returning team scored.
The Tar Heels were able to take command of the set with a pair of late runs that gave them a 23-17 lead before ultimately winning the set, 25-20.
The second set started much different than the first with UNC taking control from the get-go. The Tar Heels performed well when serving as well as returning in the set, preventing Boston College from scoring more than two points in a row during the set while having five runs of three or more consecutive points themselves, en route to a 25-10 win.
The third set was similar to the first with balanced play to start, but the Tar Heels were able to win a series of points that gave them a seven point lead in the middle of the set. This was a lead that would continue to grow as the set went on with UNC securing the set by a score of 25-13 and sweeping the overall match.
Who stood out?
Graduate transfer Meghan Neelon had an incredible game with 36 set assists, which led both teams. Many of her assists went to graduate Emily Zinger and first-year Mabrey Shaffmaster, who each finished with nine kills.
Graduate transfer Nia Robinson and sophomore Kaya Merkler each chipped in eight kills, and junior Karenna Wurl led the Tar Heels in digs with 15.
When was it decided?
Most of the sets started out with neither team able to take control of the game and unable to hold serve for long. The Tar Heels seemed to find their rhythm as the set progressed and were able to win thanks to multiple runs in the middle and ends of sets that secured them the victory.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels now sit at eighth in the conference standings with a 3-4 record in conference play, an impressive turnaround from the daunting position of 0-4 and bottom of the standing they were in just last Thursday. UNC will hope to keep this momentum going into the teeth of ACC play to finish the season.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will play on Sunday, Oct. 17th at Syracuse.
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