Tar Heels Roll Past NC State, 3-0, To Reach 25 Wins
RALEIGH, N.C. - The No. 14 Tar Heels grabbed their third-straight sweep against NC State Wednesday night, improving to 25-3 and 14-3 in conference play with the solid 3-0 win (25-17, 25-14, 25-20) at Reynolds Coliseum.
Jovana Bjelica and Paige Neuenfeldt each registered a .500 attack, combining for 18 kills and eight blocks to lead the Tar Heels' balanced offense. Leigh Andrew, Victoria McPherson and Hayley McCorkle added another six kills apiece and combined for nine blocks for UNC.
"It was great to get this win on the road and to play this well at this time of the season," head coach Joe Sagula said. "NC State always plays well at home, so we knew they'd be a tough team to face and that we'd have a battle tonight. We executed well on the things we wanted to. We had really good balance between our attackers, and we served really well. NC State made a good run in the third set, but I was proud we could still finish well and hold off their strong effort at the end."
"This was an exciting win for us to get on the road, and it will help us build more confidence as we move forward to our next match at Maryland," Sagula said.
Bjelica helped the Tar Heels open the match strong, grabbing four kills, five digs and a block to start off the match with a 25-17 win. Neuenfeldt and Andrew each posted three kills and two blocks, while Andrew also added five digs for the Tar Heels, who posted a strong .406 team attack for the first frame.
Neuenfeldt and McCorkle each tallied three kills on four swings while adding two blocks apiece to lead UNC to a 25-14 decisive second frame. Andrew added another three kills as UNC hit an even more impressive .481 in the set with just two errors.
NC State jumped out early in the third set, but the Tar Heels pulled ahead at 12-11 and didn't surrender the lead for the remainder of the frame, winning the final set 25-20. Bjelica registered another four kills, five digs and a block, while Neuenfeldt and McPherson each posted three kills and a block to finish off Carolina's third-straight sweep of the Wolfpack.