CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Tar Heels improved to 12-2 (3-1) on the season as they rolled to a 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20) win over Clemson Wednesday night. In front of a lively crowd at Carmichael and playing on ESPNU, senior Emily McGee finished with her second-straight double-double with 15 kills and 19 digs, while junior Kayla Berringer added 13 kills, and senior Cora Harms recorded 22 digs to lead UNC.
"It was great to pull out a victory tonight," head coach Joe Sagula said. "One of our goals was to start the match strong, which we did tonight, but now we have to learn how to finish strong too. Clemson got better as the match went on, and we did not answer them the way we played in the second set. We had a really great comeback in the third and fourth sets, which was really great for this team and really great to do that at home. The crowd helped that, and our team really showed a lot of great character."
"We play so many different people throughout the match, and we're trying to find the right combination that's going to work and be steady for us. We're still a work in progress, but I'm excited to get a win and get so many contributions to come out with a victory," Sagula said.
North Carolina controlled the entire first frame, starting the match with a 25-14 decisive set win. McGee, Berringer and senior Tia Gaffen had four kills apiece, with McGee also adding four digs along with eight from senior Cora Harms. The Tar Heels hit .417, limiting the Tigers to just .103 behind three kills from Sandra Adeleye and six digs from Natalie Patzin.
The Tigers returned strong in set two, taking the win with a 25-23 mark. After just two attack errors in the first set, Carolina recorded 11 in the second frame, hitting .119 while Clemson tallied a .267 attack. McGee had five kills and three digs for UNC, and Harms added another six digs. Clemson's Adeleye had five kills and Serenat Yaz recorded five digs for the Tigers.
Down 24-22 in the fourth, the Tar Heels responded with four straight points to take a 26-24 set three win, as McGee - hitting .444 through the first three frames- added three kills and eight digs to lead the Tar Heels. Freshman Paige Neuenfeldt had two blocks and two digs, as Berringer had three kills, and Harms added three digs.
This is the Tar Heels' fifth-straight win over the Tigers. North Carolina will host Georgia Tech Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Tar Heels' final home match until they host Maryland on Oct. 19. The match will be held at Carmichael Arena, and admission is free.