The North Carolina volleyball team (6-3) defeated Coastal Carolina (5-7), 3-0, in Carmichael Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The first set opened with the Tar Heels and Chanticleers keeping the score close with multiple service errors by both teams. A block by junior outside hitter Mabrey Shaffmaster and sophomore middle blocker Sadie Swift helped tie the game up at six points apiece.
The set continued to be back and forth, with both teams trading kills and attacking errors. The Tar Heels displayed good judgment at the net by reading the Chanticleer defense well, earning back-to-back kills to go up 19-15. This led to a Coastal Carolina timeout.
“We have a trend of letting other teams' energies affect our own,” Shaffmaster said, despite the Tar Heels showing palpable fire in the first set.
The Tar Heels were able to pull away for a few points with swings from senior middle blocker Kaya Merkler and Shaffmaster. Graduate outside hitter Emani’ Foster closed out the set by tipping the ball into a hole in the Chanticleer defense. North Carolina took the first set, 25-23.
The theme of the first two sets was which team could capitalize off the other’s service errors — North Carolina missed three serves in the first set, and would go on to commit six more service errors in the match. Meanwhile, seven of the Chanticleers' 11 misfires occurred in the first set alone.
“We made life pretty easy on Coastal,” head coach Mike Schall said.
During the second set, neither team was able to find their groove and pull away. Sophomore setter Anita Babic found ways to exploit gaps in the Chanticleers' defense, but Coastal Carolina's leading hitter in Jasmine Rivest continued to put pressure on UNC's defense.
For eight straight points, the Tar Heels and Chanitcleers went kill for kill. North Carolina was able to pull away when Merkler and Babic switched roles, with Merkler setting up Babic for a kill.