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North Carolina

VB: Heels top Cal, advance to second round

Posted November 29, 2012

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— North Carolina topped California 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 18-25, 25-16) Thursday night at Iowa State's Hilton Coliseum as the Tar Heels claimed their third-straight trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

"I'm just so proud of the team to be able to come back again and win a first-round match against a tough opponent in Cal, a school with a traditionally powerful program," UNC head coach Joe Sagula said. "Although we came in with the higher RPI, I don't know that we were the favored team. I thought we had a lot to prove to ourselves, most importantly that we can play at this level."

"I thought our defense tonight was outstanding, with Ece playing as an unsung hero, and Chaniel was a real force at the net in blocking. It was a close match, and I'm really excited for the team and to move on to the next round," Sagula said.

Led by senior Emily McGee with 13 kills and 11 digs, UNC capitalized on double-digit kills from four players to improve to 26-5 on the season and advance to Friday's second round match. Seven of Carolina's 11 players recorded blocks, with freshman Victoria McPherson grabbing four, and sophomore Ece Taner finished with 22 digs for UNC.

"The way our team was able to come out against a very good Cal team and play together with contributions from everyone was really impressive tonight," said McGee, who recorded her 15th double-double of the season. "Our biggest strength is the other team not knowing who is hitting the ball, and I think we were able to capitalize on that. Ece had a great game defensively, and I thought she was the MVP of the match."

North Carolina held off a California set-point to take the opening set 26-24. Sophomore Lauren Adkins' eight kills led UNC through set one, despite the Tar Heels tallying seven errors with a .234 attack to Cal's two errors and .394 hitting. McGee had three aces and three digs, junior Kayla Berringer added four kills, and senior Cora Harmsrecorded 12 assists for UNC.

Tied at 21, the Tar Heels again held strong through the finish to take set two 25-23. Berringer had five kills and a block, and McGee added four kills, four digs, a block and an ace to lead Carolina. UNC had strong defensive play in the second frame, tallying four team blocks, with Taner contributing six digs and freshman Leigh Andrew adding another four to limit the Bears' attack to .125. Freshman Jordyn Schnabl had eight assists, and Harms added another seven.

Cal took an early lead and continued to control play through the frame for a 25-18 win. McGee had four kills and two digs, but a .176 attack and six more errors didn't help the Tar Heels. Cal hit .333 behind five kills from Shannon Hawari and had four team blocks to stop UNC. Harms and Schnabl each had five assists, and Taner had five digs.

The Tar Heels bounced back for a strong final set, clinching the win with a dominant 25-16 score. Berringer, McPherson and McGee each had four kills as UNC hit a solid .353 attack. Taner had seven digs and Andrew had five. McGee, Andrew, McPherson and freshman Paige Neuenfeldt each had a block, and Harms and Schnabl combined for 14 assists.

North Carolina will now face the winner of Thursday's second match, IPFW or host Iowa State. UNC has played Iowa State once, losing to the Cyclones in 1987, but the Tar Heels have not faced IPFW yet.

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Local
4th
NCCU 21
NCA 14
 
Final
DAVID 72
UNC 90
 
1st
ECU 10
TULA 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CAR
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DUKE
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7:00pm Tonight
ORL
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Final
UGA 55
CHSO 9
 
Final
UF 52
EKU 3
 
Final
OSU 42
IND 27
 
4th
OKLA 41
KU 7
 
Final
UAB 18
MARS 23
 
Final
NEB 24
MINN 28
 
Final
PURD 14
NW 38
 
Final
ILL 16
PSU 14
 
Final
MSU 45
RUTG 3
 
Final
UCF 53
SMU 7
 
Final
SCAR 37
SALABAMA 12
 
Final
WKENT 45
TXSANANTO 7
 
Final
WAKE 6
VT 3
 
1st OT
ODU 24
LATU 24
 
4th
ARST 38
WASU 24
 
4th
CMICH 20
WMICH 32
 
4th
COLST 58
NMU 13
 
3rd
LALAF 13
APPST 21
 
3rd
BST 35
EMICH 10
 
Final
HOU 38
TULSA 28
 
2nd
UTAH 0
ARZ 7
 
2nd
FSU 10
BC 3
 
2nd
UNT 14
FIU 7
 
2nd
CLEM 14
GASTATE 0
 
1st
ND 3
LOU 14
 
1st
MICH 3
MD 0
 
1st
ARK 10
MISS 0
 
2nd
PITT 7
SYR 0
 
1st
ISU 7
TTU 14
 
1st
ECU 10
TULA 0
 
2nd
IOWA 3
WISC 3
 
1st
MEM 0
SFLA 0
 
1st
CAL 0
STAN 7
 
1st
NMST 0
LAMON 0
 
1st
ALA 0
WCAR 7
 
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11:00pm Tonight
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Final
PRIN 68
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UMASS 68
ND 81
 
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GEOR 80
RMU 66
 
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LAS 59
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Final
VT 63
APP 65
 
Final
IUPUI 71
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Final
WMICH 91
DRAK 75
 
Final
RICH 80
HIGH 56
 
Final
MSST 71
UTST 63
 
Final
CAMP 48
COL 53
 
Final
DAVID 72
UNC 90
 
Final
NIOWA 66
UNF 49
 
Final
CSNO 79
SAMF 72
 
Final
YALE 61
MLOWELL 63
 
2nd
NEV 50
CLEM 58
 
2nd
PROV 60
FSU 39
 
2nd
MARQ 68
NEOM 80
 
2nd
DET 40
SALA 23
 
2nd
TXSA 49
TXST 48
 
Half
CHIST 45
TRINCHRIS 25
 
1st
UMO 13
LIB 11
 
1st
BONA 10
CAN 9
 
1st
SAV 8
CLST 8
 
1st
NW 9
ELON 9
 
1st
RFLSH 7
MDES 4
 
1st
CARK 7
SEMIZ 16
 
1st
AFA 6
WSCO 5
 
4:30pm Today
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NJD
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4th
NCCU 21
NCA 14