The North Carolina volleyball team (4-2, 0-0 ACC) continued their winning streak with a 3-1 road victory over Charlotte (5-3, 0-0 C-USA) on Tuesday.
The first set started with both teams going on two-point scoring runs. After a point from the 49ers, North Carolina scored three straight to take a 5-3 lead. However, Charlotte came back with a run of their own, scoring six straight points. After a timeout from head coach Joe Sagula, UNC responded with a 9-2 scoring run to take a 14-11 lead.
The 49ers scored two points and the teams traded points with UNC still retaining a 16-15 lead. North Carolina scored another point before Charlotte went on a two-point run with the Tar Heels following that up with a two-point run of their own.
The teams traded points again and then Charlotte scored four straight points to take a 22-20 lead before UNC tied it up at 22. The first set would be closed out with a three-point run, only this time by the 49ers.
In the second set, Charlotte continued their strong performance with four straight points to start the set. UNC and Charlotte traded points with each other before the Tar Heels scored two straight. The 49ers then scored three straight points to take a commanding 8-3 lead.
The teams traded points with the 49ers retaining their five-point lead, 10-5 but UNC cut that down to four on the next point. Charlotte then scored two straight points to bring it up to a six-point lead. The teams traded point yet again before the Tar Heels rattled off three straight points to make it 13-10.
The teams traded points for the fifth time in the set and Charlotte would score another point to make their lead 15-11. However, after this, the Tar Heels found a surge of energy and went on a 14-7 run to win the set and tie the game.
In the third set, UNC got off to a strong 4-1 lead before Charlotte scored three straight points to tie it at 4. Both teams went back and forth, trading scores until UNC gained some traction and scored three straight points to make it 14-10.
The teams would trade points again, with Charlotte going on small runs to get back into the game, getting as close as one point, but the Tar Heels couldn’t be stopped and took the third set, 25-23.
Charlotte started the fourth set convincingly, getting a 6-1 lead. The Tar Heels came back with an 14-5 run, including six straight points, to take their first lead of the fourth set and go up 15-11.
The 49ers then used a 5-2 run to claw back within one, but the Tar Heels scored five straight points to take a 22-16 lead. However, Charlotte wasn’t done yet and scored three straight points to close the gap to three. The final three points weren’t easy for UNC as both teams traded points, but the Tar Heels would close out the game, winning the fourth set 25-22, giving them the win.
Who stood out?
Graduate transfer Charley Niego and sophomore Mabrey Shaffmaster both stood out as top players for the Tar Heels, with Niego amassing 20 kills, setting her season-high, while Shaffmaster had 19 which tied her season-high. In addition, first-year setter Anita Babic set her career-high for assists with 46, nine more than her previous high.
When was it decided?
The game was close throughout all four sets and there was little separation between the two North Carolina schools. However, the kill from Shaffmaster closed out the game and gave the Tar Heels the win.
Why does it matter?
The win is North Carolina’s third straight and propels them to two games over .500 after a shaky start to the season.
When do they play next?
With the victory, the Tar Heels will look to continue their hot streak heading into two crucial non-conference matchups against undefeated Michigan and Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten challenge on Friday and Saturday.
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