CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Carolina handed Georgia Tech its first sweep of the season, grabbing a 3-0 win (29-27, 25-22, 25-29) Sunday afternoon at Carmichael Arena. The Tar Heels improved to 13-2 (4-1) on the season behind senior Emily McGee's 11 kills and sophomore Ece Taner's 15 digs.
"This was a big match for us," head coach Joe Sagula said. "I think Georgia Tech's a really good team with really great hitters, and just a really good offensive team. I thought our team stayed composed, and our preparation over the past few days really helped a lot. I was really proud of how well we executed today. It was difficult because they have such a good, dynamic offense to be ready for all of their weapons. As good of a job we did stopping their pin players, their middles did a really good job."
Playing through seven-set points, the Tar Heels held on for an extra-points 29-27 set one win. Gaffen had four kills, four blocks and two digs to lead Carolina through the frame, while sophomore Chaniel Nelson and freshman Paige Neuenfeldt also added four blocks apiece, and junior Kayla Berringer tallied four kills.
While set one saw strong defensive play from the Tar Heels, with eight team blocks and 16 total digs, the second frame was more offensive. Carolina took the set 25-22, although the Yellow Jackets rallied to keep the score close most of the set as both teams recorded improved attacks from the first set- UNC at .469 and Georgia Tech at .378. Nelson had five kills, and senior Cora Harms had five digs with three kills. McGee added four kills, and Taner had an ace and four digs to put UNC up 2-0.
Carolina closed the match with a 25-19 final set win, as McGee added another four kills, and Harms had five digs. Nelson had two blocks, Neuenfeldt added an ace, while Taner and junior Kaitlyn Anderson each had four digs. UNC's attack was a lower .185, but the Tar Heels kept Georgia Tech to .000 in the final frame.
Heading into today's game, Georgia Tech led the conference and the NCAA in aces, but Carolina held the Yellow Jackets 11-4 (3-2) to just four aces.
"Most of all, I'm proud of how well we stayed with our game plan, stayed disciplined, and served tough. We also passed really well against one of the best serving teams in the country and handled that challenge really well. This is a great match for us to take some confidence from and take on the road with us," Sagula said.
North Carolina, now undefeated at home with eight wins, takes to the road next weekend for matches at at No.14 Florida State on Friday, Oct. 5, and at Miami on Sunday, Oct. 7.