CLEMSON, S.C. - Carolina topped Clemson 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23) Saturday night, improving to 22-5 (13-4) after a 1-1 split on the road this weekend. The Tar Heels had four players in double-digit kills and three with double-digit digs, led by senior Emily McGee who tallied 10 kills and 19 digs, and freshman Paige Neuenfeldt and sophomore Lauren Adkins who had 13 kills and two blocks apiece.
"This was a big match for us, to get one more win on the road at the end of the season," Carolina head coach Joe Sagula said. "This was a team that has really good athletes and plays really well at home, but our passing game was great tonight, and we had a great team effort throughout the match. We had people contributing early, late and throughout the entire match, and I thought it was one of our best team efforts this season."
"It came down to making some clutch plays at the end, and I was really proud of that because it was a tough environment. This will help us moving forward," Sagula said.
The Tar Heels opened the match with a 25-19 set one win behind a strong .324 team attack. Neuenfeldt and Adkins each had five kills, while senior Cora Harms had five digs and 10 assists for UNC. McGee also contributed three kills, three digs and an ace.
Carolina came from behind in the second set to even the score at 11,and then controlled the remainder of the frame. Neuenfeldt, sophomore Chaniel Nelson and freshman Victoria McPherson each had four kills, while McPherson also added three blocks. McGee tallied eight digs and a block, and Harms and freshman Jordyn Schnabl each added seven assists.
Clemson controlled set three, taking the frame by a 25-16 margin behind a dominant .519 team attack. For Carolina, Neuenfeldt had three kills and a block, and McGee added three kills and two digs. The Tigers' Kristin Faust led with 13 kills and eight digs, and Sandra Adeleye tallied eight kills and two blocks against UNC.
Adkins helped the Tar Heels take set four 25-23, recording six kills and a block to hold off Clemson in an even set. The Tar Heels hit just .188 in the final frame, but it was enough to top the Tigers' .143. Berringer added four kills, and McGee and Taner combined for 11 more digs. Senior Tia Gaffen also added two blocks and a kill for the Tar Heels.
UNC returns to Carmichael Arena next week for two more home matches. The Tar Heels host Virginia Tech Friday at 7 p.m. and then face Virginia on Saturday for Senior Night at 5 p.m.