The streaking, 13-0, No. 14 North Carolina volleyball team kept right on rolling Friday night, sweeping Notre Dame in three straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 25-22) for the second time this year.
Strong serving behind a season-high 13 aces led the Tar Heels to victory despite a jostled offense early on. But significant help from the bench was the real key that sparked Friday night’s victory.
Graduate student Jovana Bjelica once again dominated the point-production part of the stat line with 16 kills. And junior Lauren Adkins appeared to be the hot hand off the bench, sneaking up behind Bjelica with nine kills of her own — many of which came in crucial points of the match.
The Fighting Irish (6-6, 0-1 ACC) were in for a rude awakening in their first-ever ACC match against the undefeated Tar Heels. The Irish especially appeared to run out of luck in the third set, holding onto a tough four-point lead until UNC came storming back to take the set – and the match – away from the conference rookies.
Sophomore Heather Gearheart also came off the bench to spur the Tar Heel comeback by nailing three aces in the final set – all within the final seven UNC points – to seal the deal.