CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - UNC rebounded from a set one loss to beat No. 11 Florida State 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-21) Saturday in front of a great crowd at Carmichael Arena. Four Tar Heels finished with double-digit kills, led by senior Emily McGee who tallied 13 kills and 16 digs, while freshman Paige Neuenfeldt and sophomore Chaniel Nelson each had 14 kills and three blocks for UNC.
"This was a huge win for us, the biggest win of the year for us and possibly the biggest in the past couple of years," UNC head coach Joe Sagula said. "To beat a team that's really good, a final four team last year, a team we have a lot of respect for, shows how far we've come this season. I could not be prouder of how this team stayed together."
"After that first game we could have faulted, but they showed some great character. This means a lot to every single person on this team, and it's a testament to and validates all of their hard work. It means a lot to everyone in the program as well, every person that works with us, from our coaches to all of our support staff, to our alumni and fans watching us out here and on ESPN3 tonight. They all share in this victory tonight, and they know what this win means and how hard it is to get this."
"This is a win for the entire program," Sagula said.
Despite an early lead by the Tar Heels, Florida State took the opening set 25-23. Nelson and junior Kayla Berringer each had four kills, while sophomore Ece Taner had six digs, and McGee added three kills with four digs for UNC. Florida State's Mara Green had six kills and two blocks, and Katie Mosher added nine digs.
UNC bounced back in the next frame to win 25-20 as Berringer, Nelson and Neuenfeldt each had four kills, and McGee recorded five digs. Senior Cora Harms had eight assists and three digs to help the Tar Heels. The Seminoles' Fatma Yildirim and Neff tallied three blocks each, but the FSU defense wasn't enough to stop the Tar Heels, who hit .282 in the second set.
Both teams were matched pretty evenly in set three, but North Carolina took the 26-24 win behind four kills from Berringer and four blocks by senior Tia Gaffen. UNC hit a strong .341 with an added three kills apiece from Neuenfeldt, McGee and freshman Leigh Andrew. Taner had five digs, and McGee also added two blocks, as UNC had just two errors to FSU's seven in the third frame.
Up 2-1 going into the fourth frame, the Tar Heels carried their momentum to claim the match with a final 25-21 set win. McGee had six kills and three digs, and Neuenfeldt had four kills, two digs and two blocks to carry the Tar Heels through the set. Harms had nine assists, and Nelson added four kills as UNC limited Florida State to a .143 attack.
With a 3-0 sweep over No. 23 Miami on Friday in addition to today's win, the Tar Heels improved to 21-4 overall and 12-3 in the ACC while defeating the top two teams in the conference this weekend. North Carolina is also now 12-0 at home this season, with three matches left to play at Carmichael.
UNC travels to Georgia Tech for a match on Thursday at 7 p.m. and then faces Clemson on Saturday at 6 p.m. Stay tuned to GoHeels.com for more information on the UNC volleyball team.