CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - No. 24 North Carolina finished its regular season in thrilling fashion, topping NC State 3-2 (26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 24-26, 15-7) Wednesday afternoon to secure an undefeated (15-0) record at Carmichael Arena.
The Tar Heels had five players with double-digit kills and four with double-digit digs, led by Emily McGee with 12 kills and 17 digs.
"This was a good win against a scrappy NC State team," UNC head coach Joe Sagula said. "They came out and gave us a great battle. I'm real proud of our team, finding different ways to win with different people coming through. This was another great team win, and a great way to finish the year, 15-0 at home.
"Hopefully this will create some momentum as we head into the NCAA tournament," Sagula said.
North Carolina was up at set point 24-23, but the Wolfpack fought back after four set-points to win 28-26, capitalizing on UNC's 13 errors through the frame. McGee, sophomore Chaniel Nelson, and freshmen Victoria McPherson and Paige Neuenfeldt grabbed three kills each, but the Tar Heels were limited to a .070 team attack. McGee also added five digs, and sophomore Lauren Adkins recorded two aces for UNC. NC State's Alesha Wilson had four blocks, and Dariyan Hopper had four kills with two blocks for the Pack.
North Carolina returned with a dominant .455 attack to take set two, 25-17. McPherson and Nelson each had three kills, and Neuenfeldt recorded three blocks to lead the Tar Heels, who limited the Pack's hitting to an even .000. After committing 13 errors in the opening set, UNC had just three while NC State had nine in the second frame.
The Tar Heels took set three 25-20, led by Nelson with five kills and McPherson with four and a block. Tied at 7, UNC had a strong six-point run to take over the lead and control the rest of the frame. Sophomore Ece Taner added seven digs to help the Carolina defense, with held NC State to a .103 attack. Freshman Jordyn Schnabl recorded nine assists and four digs, and senior Cora Harms had six assists with four digs.
Tied at 11 in set four, UNC had another six-point run to go up, but the Wolfpack evened the score back at 18 before going on to take the 26-24 win. At set-point NC State (24-21), UNC had recorded two blocks and a kill to even the score at 24, but NC State finished with two points from Brie Meriwether to force a fifth set. Adkins, McGee and Nelson each had four kills, while Neuenfeldt had three blocks and Nelson had two for Carolina.
UNC came out strong in set five, leading from the first point and taking the 15-7 win. Freshman Leigh Andrew led the Tar Heels with three straight aces, two kills and two digs. McGee had four digs and two kills in the fifth, and the senior fittingly scored the final point to lock in Carolina's victory.
North Carolina finished the regular season 25-5 (16-4) and is one of just eight teams in the top-50 RPI with an undefeated record at home. The Tar Heels will now wait for the NCAA Volleyball Selection Show, which airs this Sunday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.