The North Carolina volleyball team (13-4, 2-4 ACC) played a competitive game to defeat the Virginia Tech Hokies (9-9, 0-6 ACC), 3-0, in Carmichael Arena on Sunday for its second straight win.
The first set got off to a slow start, but it didn’t take long for the Tar Heels to take the lead. First-year Mabrey Shaffmaster earned five aces, putting the score at 13-4. The team kept the momentum going as they swiftly pulled the score to 19-5. The Tar Heels’ skillful blocking and hitting lead to their 25-8 defeat of the Hokies.
Virginia Tech bounced back in the second set and the score remained close throughout the entire set. After the score was tied several times and both teams traded the lead, UNC was able to have an explosive end and win the set, 25-23.
Graduate student Nia Robinson contributed three consecutive kills, and after her final kill the score was left at 24-21. Junior Skyy Howard ended this match with a kill that earned North Carolina the match point. This Tar Heel victory put the overall score at 2-0.
The third and final set mirrored the first in that the Tar Heels held a drastic lead over the Hokies. After a close loss in set two, the Hokies came into the third set strong, but the Tar Heels remained in the lead for majority of the time. UNC defeated Virginia Tech, 25-8, to clinch the sweep.
Who stood out?
Shaffmaster was on fire from the second that she stepped on the court. She finished as a game leader in several different areas categories, including aces with five and digs with 20. She also had the second-most kills, eight, only following behind Robinson, who ended with 18.
Howard displayed her talent in the game as she led the Tar Heels in blocks with three and scored the final point in the second set.
When was it decided?
After a competitive second set, it seemed like the third set would also be close, but this wasn't the case. The Tar Heels jumped out to a big lead and held on for a 25-8 win to seal the overall victory.
Why does it matter?
After a four-game losing streak, UNC picked up a win against Wake Forest on Friday, and Sunday's triumph kept the team building momentum in the win column.
The successful weekend should be a morale boost as the team looks to get back to its winning ways from earlier in the season.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will get back on the road and travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass. to play against Boston College on Friday. The game will begin at 8 p.m.
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