The North Carolina volleyball team ended the Northern Colorado Tournament with a 3-0 loss to Northern Colorado on Saturday evening.
The Tar Heels got off to a slow start early in the first set and fell into a 6-1 deficit. After UNC slightly closed the gap, Northern Colorado scored five straight points to build a 13-4 advantage. North Carolina then responded with four straight points of its own, but the Bears regained momentum and went on a 5-0 run to lead 18-8.
The Bears wrapped up the remainder of the set with solid play to seal a 25-11 win. The Tar Heels struggled to create any type of offensive consistency, and finished the opening set with a hitting percentage of zero.
UNC showed more promise at the start of the second set. Strong attacking from sophomore outside hitter Mabrey Shaffmaster kept the Tar Heels in the contest, as the team only trailed by one through the first 15 points.
After staying close early, the Tar Heels lost their edge shortly after. The Bears went on a 6-1 run to go up 17-9 and build a wide lead. North Carolina later trimmed the deficit to two with a late run, but Northern Colorado pulled away in the end to wrap up its 25-21 victory.
In the third set, the Tar Heels experienced many of the same struggles as the first set. The Bears were aggressive coming out of the break and set the tone by creating a 14-5 advantage. UNC capitalized on two attack errors to earn some points, but Northern Colorado scored the last five points of the set to secure the sweep with a 25-12 win.
Who stood out?
On a night when offense was tough to come by, graduate transfer outside hitter Charley Niego was the team's most productive attacker. She finished the match with eight kills — the second-most on the team — and racked them up with an efficient .273 hitting percentage.