The North Carolina volleyball team (12-14, 6-11 ACC) lost to No. 25 Florida State (22-8, 15-2 ACC) in a five-set match on Sunday afternoon in Carmichael Arena.
In the first set, graduate hitter Maria Miggins opened up the scoring for North Carolina with two kills that scraped the fingers of the Seminole defense. The block defense came up big in the first set for both teams. First-year hitter Sydney Nolan came up big to stop middle blocker Kiari Robey’s swing.
A multitude of out-of-system balls kept both defenses all over the court waiting for the other side to make an error. The Tar Heels came in strong with the tip offense, going both deep and short to keep the Seminoles on their toes. A short tip by first-year hitter Romani Thurman over the Seminole block advanced UNC to a 15-12 lead.
After the North Carolina timeout, back-to-back kills from the Tar Heels put UNC ahead by two. Kills from the right side is what hurt the Seminoles. Miggins swung cross-court to add to the lead, while Thurman added another two points by swing and block.
Two kills from the left side by junior hitter Mabrey Shaffmaster gave UNC the set win, 25-19.
Nolan started off the second set strong with a big swing down the middle and a key block on the left side to help North Carolina reach an early 5-1 lead. A service ace and back-row kill by first-year hitter Safi Hampton extended the lead to 7-1.
The Seminoles struggled to put up strong hands at the net, as many of the UNC kills were finished from touched swings.
Nolan was highly successful in the second set tallying five kills. She was smart at the net and swung intentionally, varying her targets between the left and right sides. Nolan’s net defense was dominant and she capitalized on Seminole overpasses to complete the kill.
North Carolina was strategic in ball placement in the second set pushing and tipping to all ends of the court. The Tar Heels never fell behind after their dominant start. UNC won set two 25-19 after a blocking error by the Seminoles.