CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina cleared out Wake Forest 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-14) on Friday as the Tar Heels improved to 10-2 (1-1) on the season. Sophomore Chaniel Nelson led with 10 kills and 11 digs, while senior Cora Harms had 17 digs and sophomore Ece Taner added 14.
"We're very pleased with this win tonight," head coach Joe Sagula said. "We had a slow start, but a strong finish, and we had some people contribute throughout the night which I thought was important. We're tying to build confidence in the team and individual confidence."
"The ability to have positive play from Jordyn Schnabl, Chaney LaReau, Lauren Adkins, Leigh Andrew, to have that added to what our starters are doing, we are at a point where we have starters and finishers, and that's an exciting thing. Now we'll take that and prepare for Sunday's match against our rival Duke, which will be a different type of match, but I think we'll be ready," Sagula said.
Carolina took set one, but the Deacs didn't go down without a fight. Wake Forest led most of the set, but down by five, the Tar Heels scored seven-straight to take the upperhand at 22-20 and then finish it off 25-22. McGee had five kills, Nelson had five digs, and freshman Paige Neuenfeldt added three blocks.
The Tar Heels controlled the second frame, leading by as many as 10 before taking the 25-16 set win. Nelson had four kills and Taner had six digs, while senior Tia Gaffen added two blocks for UNC. Carolina's attack improved from set one, as the Tar Heels hit .370, up from .184 in the first stanza.
UNC continued the dominating play into the third, taking the final set 25-14. Harms had 12 of her 17 digs in the final stanza, as Nelson added another five kills and five digs and Neuenfeldt added five kills with two blocks. The Carolina defense kept the Deamon Deacons' attack at .000 in the final set, and just .116 in the first and .056 in the second.
Carolina volleyball alumni were recognized between sets two and three, with 26 former Tar Heels making the trip back to Chapel Hill for the match.
"It was a special to have over 25 of our alumni from 1999 through 2011 to be here and to be recognized on the court," Sagula said. "To see the history and tradition of our program in front of us, I was just really proud to see so many of them come back."
UNC welcomes Duke on Sunday (2 p.m.) for the Tar Heels' third of four-straight home matches. All matches are held at Carmichael Arena, and admission is free.