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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC volleyball sweeps Boston College, caps off a 2-0 weekend

UNC first year outside hitter Safi Hampton (22) high fives with her teammates after they won in the volleyball game against Louisville on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, at Carmichael Arena.

The North Carolina volleyball team (9-8) defeated Boston College (14-8) in three sets on Sunday to clinch their second road win of the weekend. 

Following their defeats in both ACC matchups the previous week, this is what the Tar Heel team needed to turn things around. 

“We’re going to have great moments; we already have. We’re going to have tough moments; we already have,” head coach Mike Schall said. “Can we stay with it and not allow a tough match, a tough loss to define our story for us.” 

That is exactly what they did. 

The match opened with a powerful hit by junior outside hitter Mabrey Shaffmaster to give the Tar Heels the opening kill. But what followed was a heated exchange of points between the two similarly ranked ACC teams.

Shaffmaster was pivotal in breaking down the fiery Boston defense with a crucial kill needed to break the four-point Eagle run. Her impressive hits from the backline assisted UNC in keeping the score tight and the first set up for grabs. 

Despite the back and forth in the first set, neither team was hitting particularly well. Both sides struggled to maintain accurate shots, with most of their cross-court attempts landing out of bounds. Eagle senior Anna Murphy kept Boston College alive in the first set, but despite her impressive digs and two aces, UNC scraped by, 25-23. 

North Carolina came out swinging in the second set, gaining an early 8-1 lead. After Shaffmaster’s four kills in the first set, she came out even stronger with her powerful serves that gave the Tar Heels the momentum they needed to win out the second. 

“She does everything well,” Schall said. “You look at the kill numbers, and she gets a lot of kills for us, but she’s also one of our best servers, one of the best servers in the conference. But then she's also carrying a pretty heavy load in terms of our serve receive.”

But ultimately, it was the consistency and versatility of UNC's team that won them this match. First-year Safi Hampton showcased her stability with a kill, followed by an ace.

“We looked out at the floor at times and we had three freshmen on the floor at times,” Schall said.

The Eagles found their rhythm again in the third set, with the help of another ace by Murphy and a higher scoring percentage than they had seen all match. But every time Boston College got momentum, the Tar Heels struck back.

With a close 16-15 score in the third set, Hampton came out with a momentum-changing shot that led to a 5-1 run for North Carolina. Shaffmaster rebounded from a few messy hits in the beginning and first-year setter Zoe Behrendt finished with a career-high 35 assists to finish out the set 25-20 and sweep Boston College, 3-0. 

“Zoe was doing a really good job finding the right moments to set our middles and to mix up the offense a little bit more,” Schall said. 

That switch-up led the North Carolina offense to wildly improve its hitting percentage as a team from the first set. 

With UNC and Boston College currently ranked in the middle of the pack of the ACC, this win was pivotal. 

The Tar Heels will face Clemson on Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m.


@dthsports |

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