After dropping the first two sets at Carmichael Arena against N.C. State on Sunday, UNC forced a fourth set with a win in the third. However, the late burst of energy was not enough to pull out the win, eventually falling 1-3.
Here are three takeaways for UNC going into the rest of the season:
Come prepared to play
N.C. State opened up the match on a 5-0 scoring run. This led to an immediate timeout for the Tar Heels as a way of regrouping.
“We weren't playing connected,” head coach Mike Schall said. “It's something we talked about in the locker room. For whatever reason – and we have to figure this out – we just didn't seem ready at the beginning of the match.”
Whatever was said in that timeout likely had an impact on the court, as UNC tied the score at 16-16 later in the set. The first set ultimately went to the Wolfpack, showing the Tar Heels that they needed to get ahead early as opposed to playing from behind.
Execute in important moments
After forcing a fourth set, UNC couldn't pull out the stops necessary to reach a fifth set and complete the reverse sweep. Five service errors in the fourth set gave N.C. State some easy points. With 13 total service errors in the game, UNC struggled with giving up unearned points.
“I thought our [serve] misses weren't terrible misses,” Schall said. “[There were] a couple of late-game situations where those hurt. You know, those aren't any fun.”