Diamond Heels Avoid Sweep, Take Down No. 1 Cavs

The North Carolina baseball team avoided a series sweep Sunday afternoon by downing top-ranked Virginia 4-2 at Davenport Field thanks to a two-run home run blast by Michael Russell.

With the win, the Tar Heels improved to 23-17 on the season and 10-11 in ACC action while the Cavaliers dropped to 33-7 overall and 16-5 in conference.

Carolina had a great opportunity to capture game one of the ACC series in Charlottesville as UNC ace Trent Thornton was edged by UVA hurler Nathan Kirby 3-2.

In game two, Tar Heel junior Benton Moss allowed just three hits in 7.2 innings, but the Carolina bats failed to back him up as Virginia secured the series with a 3-1 victory Saturday.

Easter Sunday went to the Tar Heels with sophomore reliever Reilly Hovis closing the door on the mound by dismissing the final 11 Cavalier hitters. It was Carolina’s first triumph over a No. 1 team since a sweep of Virginia in 2011.

Next up for the Tar Heels is Tuesday visit to East Carolina.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/diamond-heels-avoid-sweep-take-1-cavs/

Coach Mike Fox Says Tar Heels Will ‘Go Strap It On And See What Happens’ Versus No. 1 Cavaliers

Following a series win over Wake Forest and a ninth inning rally against Elon, the North Carolina baseball team, 22-15 on the year and an even 9-9 in ACC play, will now face a ‘measuring stick’ series for the program this weekend when facing No. 1 Virginia in Charlottesville.

***Listen to the story***

“It’s not going to get any easier with them. Virginia has built such a great program. They got great starting pitching. We’re going to have to take advantage of any opportunities they give us. We got to pitch well. Friday night should be an unbelievable game,” Coach Fox says.

That was Carolina Head Coach Mike Fox on the formidable challenge awaiting his Tar Heels Friday night.

With a busy slate of games and final exams right around the corner, the Tar Heels have a ton on their plate. Coach Fox says he hopes his players are ready for the juggling act that’s ahead of them this time of the year, especially with postseason play looming.

“Our kids have a lot on them right now academically. It’s just a tough stretch for them right now until the last day of class. That’s my biggest concern at this point. But we need to be ready. Every game is important for us now,” Coach Fox says.

The Virginia Cavaliers sit at 31-6 on the season and boast a powerful batting lineup along with a threatening bullpen that makes for a lethal combo to opposing teams.

The Tar Heels, meanwhile, have experienced an up-and-down season so far; unusual for a program that is a mainstay at the top of the college game. But Coach Fox says he’s been seeing some positive developments in his team lately.

“Our kids are starting to play a little loose and realize we have to play that way. Some of our kids are really starting to play well. Our bullpen was really good. We have to keep moving forward and try to keep playing well,” Coach Fox says.

Despite Virginia’s dominating season thus far, Coach Fox remains confident in Carolina’s chances. He says the Tar Heels can draw upon their past successes against the Wahoos.

“We’ve been there and done that before – had some success a couple years ago. We’ve got to go up there and play well. Everybody in this league is beatable. We’ll go strap it on and see what happens,” Coach Fox says.

Having their ace Trent Thornton on the mound to lead the proceedings Friday night will certainly give the Tar Heels their best chance at grabbing game one of an ACC series that many across the league and nation will be keeping their eyes on.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/coach-mike-fox-says-tar-heels-will-go-strap-see-happens-versus-1-cavaliers/

Tenacious Tar Heel Men’s Lax Fights For ACC Supremacy This Weekend

After starting 0-2 in ACC play, the Carolina men’s lacrosse team was in a world of trouble. But now, the Tar Heels are No. 4 in the nation and will be playing for a potential No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament when they take on No. 7 Syracuse this Saturday.

***Listen to the story***

Head Coach Joe Breschi couldn’t say enough positive things about the way his team played in a crucial ACC game against rival Virginia.

“I’m proud of our guys. Virginia is a terrific lacrosse team, top ten in the country. How hard we played for 60 minutes – we’ve been stressing that all year,” Coach Breschi says.

The ACC race is loaded with the ‘who’s who’ of college lacrosse. Each and every game seemingly features two top ten teams facing off.

Senior Frankie Kelly says the Virginia win provided the team with more of a sense of relief than jubilation. Kelly knew it was a must-win scenario.

Coach Breschi agrees. But he says it only makes this weekend’s game at Syracuse inside the Carrier Dome that much bigger.

“This was big. We’re now at 2-2. We feel pretty good with where we’re at. We have to go up to Syracuse now, and they’re fighting for their playoff life in the ACC. There’s a lot in front of us, but I’m just proud of taking another step forward,” Coach Breschi says.

Senior midfielder R.G. Keenan has supplied some timely late-game magic for the Tar Heels in his career. And Keenan will be hoping to hold a few more tricks up his sleeve as his playing days at Chapel Hill come to an end.

And as another lacrosse season winds down, Coach Breschi salutes the impact of Keenan, Kelly and the rest of the senior class.

“We got a great group of 12 seniors. They’ve done a wonderful job all year leading this group. To finish like this is wonderful for them,” Coach Breschi says.

One promising sign for the Tar Heels moving forward is the continued development of the defense. It was UNC’s stingy defense down the stretch that served as a catalyst to the victory over the Cavaliers.

The Tar Heels’ battle with the perennial powerhouse Orange will be a historic one. The two squads haven’t played each other since 1996. The collision is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday and will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tenacious-tar-heel-mens-lax-fights-acc-supremacy-weekend/

Senior Day for Tar Heel Men’s Lacrosse

The No. 5 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team, 8-2 overall and 1-2 in conference, will take on No. 8 Virginia, 8-3 on the season and 1-2 in ACC play, Saturday at 3 p.m. for Senior Day in Chapel Hill.

The Tar Heels are riding a three-game winning streak into the border battle while Virginia lost to former No. 1 Maryland last weekend.

Saturday will be the 71st meeting between UNC and UVA. The teams have met in the regular season every year since the 1964 season.

Virginia leads the all-time series 47-23, but Carolina has won three matches in a row against the Cavaliers.

The 3 p.m. game at Fetzer Field will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/senior-day-tar-heel-mens-lacrosse/

Carrboro Mid State Basketball Tournament Runs Cut Short

The Carrboro Jaguars’ tournament runs were cut short Thursday night, and now they await state tournament seeding.

The boys fell for the third time this season to Graham, 65-46. The Red Devils move on for a much easier contest than originally expected in the final as the No. 1 seed, regular-season-undefeated, Cummings, was knocked out by No. 4 seed Jordan-Matthews.

The 2A Mid State title will be decided Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Burlington.

The Carrboro girls fell to Cummings, 70-50. The Jaguars and Cavaliers split the regular season, but Carrboro couldn’t overcome the home-court advantage Thursday night.

The Cavaliers host the Reidsville Rams Friday at 6:00 p.m. for the 2A Mid State championship.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announces state tournament seedings Saturday. The Carrboro boys are 15-8 and finished with a 6-4 record in conference play; the girls finished the season 7-17 overall.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/carrboro-mid-state-basketball-tournament-runs-cut-short/

No. 11 UNC Women’s Basketball Holds On For Fourth-Straight, 80-74

The No. 11 UNC women’s basketball team stifled a sluggish first half and pulled away from Virginia, holding on late for an 80-74 win in Charlottesville Thursday night.

Hot shooting off the bench kept the Tar Heels in the game early. N’Dea Bryant shot 4-4 in the first half after starting on the sideline. Stephanie Mavunga and Britney Roundtree added 11 between the pair. Starters Latifah Coleman and Allisha Gray also contributed 11 shooting 2-3 each from the field in the first.

At the break, Carolina held the two-point lead, 34-32.

However, the Heels opened up the second half on a 10-2 run, extending the game to a double-digit lead. Just before the less-than-12-minute media timeout, UNC went on another run to extend the lead to 19 at 58-39.

Virginia whittled away at the lead in the final quarter of the game. With 16 seconds, the Cavaliers brought it back to a four-point game off a three from game-high scorer, Faith Randolph. However, Carolina hit its free throws down the stretch and held on for its fourth-straight win.

After averaging more than 30 points and putting up two season high nights of 30 and 38 last week, the Cavaliers had freshman Diamon DeShields’ number in the first holding her scoreless off two shots. She finally got on the board just more than three minutes into the second frame and tallied seven points.

Virginia’s Randolph led all players with 24 points. Carolina was led by Gray who scored 18; Mavunga had a double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds.

With the win, Carolina improved to 21-6, 9-4 in the ACC; Virginia fell to 13-13, 6-7.

With just three games remaining in the regular season, the Tar Heels return home Sunday to host last-place Virginia Tech at 2:00 p.m.

Box Score

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/11-unc-womens-basketball-holds-fourth-straight-80-74/

Tar Heel Women To Take On Cavaliers In Charlottesville

The No. 11 North Carolina women’s basketball team, 20-6 on the season and 8-4 in the ACC, will look to continue its fine play of late when it takes on Virginia, 13-12 overall and 6-6 in conference, Thursday in Charlottesville for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff.

The Tar Heels have caught the attention of the nation with thrilling road wins over a pair of top 10 teams in Duke and N.C. State thanks in large part to the dominating performances put in by freshman Diamond DeShields.

DeShields was named ESPN’s National Player of the Week on Monday.

In addition, teammate Allisha Gray was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Week for the third time this season following her impressive week of play.

Carolina will need to maintain their focus on the road in John Paul Jones Arena, a tough place to play. The last two contests there have both gone to double overtime with UVA and UNC splitting the meetings.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heel-women-take-cavaliers-charlottesville/

Tar Heels Can’t Keep Pace With Hot-Shooting Cavaliers, Fall 76-61

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– The North Carolina men’s basketball team lost to the Virginia Cavaliers Monday night 76-61 on the road to fall to 11-7 overall and 1-4 in the ACC.

***Listen to the recap***

***Listen to Roy Williams’ Postgame Press Conference***

With the win, Virginia improved to 15-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference.

It was a back-and-forth affair inside rowdy John Paul Jones Arena early on, but Virginia pulled away late in the first half with an 8-0 run before the break. And some hot shooting to open the second half earned the home team a 15-point commanding lead that they never relinquished.

UVA’s Michael Brogdon led the scoring charge for the Cavaliers with 16 points while standout guard Joe Harris matched him with 16 points of his own, including a trio of three-pointers.

Carolina struggled to sustain any kind of momentum on the offensive end and could not provide any answers on defense for the Cavalier scoring barrage.

UNC vs. Virginia 033

McAdoo tangles with Anderson (Melet)

One of the lone bright spots on the night for Carolina was freshman Kennedy Meeks, who posted a team-leading 15 points and nine rebounds. James Michael McAdoo and Leslie McDonald reached double figures, at 11 and 10 points respectively.

James Michael McAdoo controlled the opening tip for the Tar Heels, and Leslie McDonald scored on a second-chance opportunity to draw first blood.

But UVA standout Harris responded with interest, draining a three-pointer to give the Cavliers the 3-2 lead with 18:40 on the first half clock.

Wasting no time, J.P. Tokoto made his fifth three-pointer of the season to reclaim the lead for UNC. McAdoo’s deep make pushed Carolina’s lead out to 7-3.

It was Harris again who provided the answers for Virginia. He was on fire early on, sinking two more shots from behind the arc to give UVA the 9-7 lead with 16:15 to go in the first half.

McAdoo’s physical play inside helped him eclipse the 1,000-point mark in his career. But early on, Virginia had only missed two shots as a team.

Paige picked up his second foul of the game that forced him to the bench. But Brice Johnson provided a nice lift to get UNC to within a single point at 15-14 with under 14 minutes remaining on the first half clock.

Meeks showed smart court awareness when he cleaned up on a second-chance opportunity to briefly reclaim the lead at 16-15 for the Tar Heels.

The hot shooting for the Cavaliers continued, shooting 4-6 from three-point range, but Carolina continued to display balanced offensive scoring with Britt entering the scoring fray.

With 10 minutes to go in the first half, the pace was feverish, and the Cavaliers held a 22-21 edge when a timeout was called.

Paige rolled one in coming out of the stoppage in play to cut the deficit to one point yet again. A Britt steal followed, but a three-point attempt fell woefully short for Carolina.

At the 7:20 mark, it was the Cavaliers who maintained a 26-23 advantage.

The Tar Heels were passing the ball well, and McAdoo found Meeks in the clear to dunk it home to earn a 27-26 lead for Carolina with 5:50 to go in the half.

Meeks for the dunk (Melet)

Meeks for the dunk (Melet)

Virginia took a timeout and the 28-27 lead with 4:09 to go. As the clock was winding down, both squads appeared to be getting tired as sloppy play littered with turnovers took over. Tokoto committed a few turnovers of his own, helping the Cavaliers to a 34-29 lead with under two minutes left in the half.

Harris added another three-pointer right before the break to extend out the Virginia lead. The Cavaliers ended the half on an 8-0 run to lead by nine at 38-29.

The halftime stat sheet showed Virginia was shooting 51.9 percent as a team while Carolina was only managing a 39.4 percent success rate.

UVA’s Harris was leading all scorers with 11 points, including three from behind the arc. As for the Tar Heels, McAdoo and McDonald were leading the charge with 7 points apiece.

Virginia wasted not time to score in the second half. Mike Tobey scored to ignite the crowd and extend the lead out to 11 points.

The Cavaliers continued to fill up the bucket and quickly raced out to a 47-33 lead with 17:28 to play in the contest.

Carolina adjusted to a 2-3 zone on defense to attempt to change the momentum and deal with the success of the Cavalier attack.

Carolina’s Johnson came up with a nice defensive block right before a stoppage in play. Virginia led the Tar Heels 48-36 with 15:34 to go in the game.

Meeks was a bright spot for UNC in the second half, providing some aggressive minutes to keep the Tar Heels within shouting distance. But Virginia’s shooters were not cooling off.

Virginia held a 55-43 cushion with 11:32 to play. Head Coach Roy Williams was fired up and yelling at the officials over a foul call.

Fired up Coach Williams

Fired up Coach Williams (Melet)

The Carolina offense just could not come up with any stops to cut into the Cavalier lead though. Virginia led 60-49 with 8:48 to play.

The atmosphere softened as the clock ticked down and with little doubt in the outcome despite a McDonald three-point make.

Tokoto fouled out for the first time in his career with 5:02 to play in the game, and the frustration had mounted for the Carolina players as time expired on the blowout defeat.

Next up for Carolina is a Sunday home meeting with the Clemson Tigers.

***View All the Photos from the Game***
UNC Clobbered by UVA

Box Score

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-fall-2/

Mixing It Up: Coach Williams Playing With Lineups Heading Into Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– The 11-6 North Carolina men’s basketball team, 1-3 in conference, faces a pivotal Monday night 7 p.m. matchup in the ACC race when they travel to Charlottesville to take on the surging 13-5 Virginia Cavaliers, 4-1 in ACC play.

***Listen to the story***

Carolina is coming off a rebounding 82-71 win over Boston College on Saturday to avoid the school’s first ever 0-4 start to the conference season. Virginia rolls into the contest with a comfortable 78-66 victory against Florida State.

Marcus Paige reemerged with 21 points Saturday to lead all scorers while James Michael McAdoo turned in 17 points and six rebounds.

Head Coach Roy Williams says he was pleased with the balanced scoring performance and pointed out that the locker room was a much more hospitable environment following the game.

“Five guys in double figures, you like to have that. We shot over fifty percent in both halves. We’re very pleased, relieved, you can put any adjective you want to in there. But it’s a much better feeling in that locker room,” Coach Williams says.

The Tar Heels will hope to carry the momentum with them as they take on a tough Cavaliers squad featuring a top-notch coach in Tony Bennett and an always rugged defense that will test the patience of Carolina’s shooters.

Coach Williams says he has been impressed with the development of sophomore forward J.P. Tokoto, who tallied 14 points in his last outing.

“J.P. is getting better and better. I think each game he’s getting better and better. We need him to do that,” Coach Williams says.

In the BC game, Coach Williams mixed things up with a surprising starting lineup that included Leslie McDonald and Jackson Simmons. And Coach Williams says he may go with it again in Charlottesville Monday night.

“I don’t know that Leslie had done enough to deserve it, but I wanted to do something. Jackson plays harder than everybody else. That’s the reason that he got the chance. I may stick with it at Charlottesville, and I may not. But I just don’t want to sit back and not do anything, so we tried to change it up,” Coach Williams says.

Freshman Kennedy Meeks says he would characterize the practices over the last week leading up to the ACC showdown against the Cavaliers as intense.

“There’s a lot of intensity to get ready for the game today and preparing for Virginia on Monday. This week in practice has really been intense,” Meeks says.

Last year, Carolina split its two meetings with Virginia, dropping the contest on the road 52-61.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/mixing-coach-williams-playing-lineups-heading-virginia/

No. 15 Volleyball Wrapping Up Regular Season at Carmichael

CHAPEL HILL– The No. 15 Carolina volleyball team is ready to finish out their regular season in style with a visit from a pair of teams they’ve beaten earlier in the season.

The 22-3 Tar Heels are 11-3 in conference and face 20-8 Virginia Tech Friday night at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Carolina will take on the Cavaliers of Virginia for Senior Night. UVA is 15-11 overall and 8-6 in league play.

Carolina will honor Kaitlyn Anderson, Kayla Berringer and Jovana Bjelica before Saturday’s match.

Admission is free to both matches at Carmichael Arena and GoHeelsTV will broadcast the action online.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/no-15-volleyball-wrapping-up-regular-season-at-carmichael/