Nov. 21, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 7 North Carolina hit .326 and totaled eight blocks Friday night, as the Tar Heels held steady at the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference leaderboard with a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-20, 25-16) of the University of Notre Dame volleyball team at Purcell Pavilion in front of 1,173 fans.
The Irish (6-21, 3-13 ACC) put up a good fight in the first set, as they clawed back from an 18-12 deficit to tie the match at 20. Later in the set, Notre Dame again tied the contest at 23, but back-to-back kills from Chaniel Nelson and preseason all-ACC performer Paige Neuenfeldt gave the Tar Heels the 1-0 lead.
Set two saw the Irish stay equal with UNC early, but a 4-0 run midway through the frame took a 15-13 lead and made it a 19-13 advantage in favor of the visitors. Notre Dame trimmed the lead to four at 20-16, but could get no closer.
The Tar Heels hit .349 and pounded home 31 of their 39 kills in the first two sets.
North Carolina controlled the final frame, as it jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead and maintained a four to five point margin for much of the set.
UNC, who improves to 18-2 in three-set matches this year, was led by Neuenfeldt’s eight kills (.583 A%) and three blocks and Chaniel Nelson’s 10 kills (.471 A%) and two blocks. Libero Ece Taner had a match-high 18 digs, while Leigh Andrew totaled four kills, 14 digs, two blocks and a service ace.
Notre Dame hit just .093 for the match and recorded only two blocks, which was significantly down from its 2.30 blocks per set average.
Senior Jeni Houser recorded a team-high 10 kills to up her career total to 1,282, putting her four away from cracking into the school’s top 10 list.
She also led her team in kills for the 44th time in her career, which moves her into a tie with former All-American Lauren Brewster for fifth place in program history. The Louisville, Kentucky native could move into a tie for third place in that category if she can lead the Irish in kills in each of the final two matches of the season.
Notre Dame returns to Purcell at 1 p.m. Sunday when NC State comes to town. Fans that present a Louisville football ticket stub will be admitted into the match for free. Volleyball-only patrons can purchase tickets when they arrive at Purcell.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director