CHAPEL HILL – Check out this behind-the-scenes video of the UNC men’s basketball team celebrating Wednesday following the big win over No. 1 Michigan State!
The team also received a warm welcome home from East Lansing at the Smith Center in the early morning hours.
Video by UNC Athletics:
CHAPEL HILL–It’s that time of the week again. That time when we take a step back from the bright lights of the football field, basketball court and soccer turf to check in on some exciting Olympic sports action in Tar Heel country. This weekend, the top ranked women’s field hockey team and the surging, No. 14 volleyball squad will have plenty to offer.
-Field Hockey: These Tar Heel ladies will continue ACC play Friday by hosting No. 13 Duke at 6 p.m. at Francis E. Henry Stadium. Carolina is 8-0 overall and 1-0 in the ACC. The Blue Devils sit at 6-2 on the season. A year ago, the Tar Heels thumped Duke down in Durham 7-3. Another intriguing aspect of this intense rivalry this year will be a sister act. Tar Heel freshman goalkeeper Shannon Johnson’s older sister Aileen is a sophomore midfielder for Duke. Admission is free for the game so head on out to support your top-ranked Tar Heels.
-Volleyball: The undefeated Tar Heels were dealt a tough blow on Thursday as Head Coach Joe Sagula announced that redshirt junior Chaniel Nelson will be out for the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in her tibia. Despite the somber news, fourteenth-ranked Carolina will soldier on with a home match Friday at 7 p.m. against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Earlier in the season, UNC swept Notre Dame in a non-conference tilt at the Blue Raider Bash. Already off to the best start in program history, Carolina will be looking to keep the streak going in Carmichael Arena. Admission is free and live video can be viewed on GoHeels TV.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/olympic-sports-spotlight-3/
CHAPEL HILL– Carolina’s back is against the wall already this football season. And the coaches are fully aware of the situation the team is now in. sitting with a 1-2 record.
But one positive nugget to take away from last Saturday may have been the improving play of the defense. Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning says he woke up on Sunday feeling a lot better about his unit’s play.
“I was a lot more encouraged. And I told the players that I woke up a lot more encouraged than I’d been in a long time. Obviously I was disappointed in the score and the loss, but encouraged at the way they played,” Coach Koenning says.
Despite the extreme physicality of the Georgia Tech contest on a sloppy track, Coach Koenning says he has still been pushing the defense as hard as he can this week heading into the match-up against ECU.
“The only way you can practice full speed is to go full speed. And I know it’s the middle of the season, and I know that it was a physical game last week. […] But I also know that I am still pressing as hard as I can for them to practice harder,” Coach Koenning says.
Head Coach Fedora says making personnel changes for this week’s home game is a distinct possibility. He says that Carolina’s players have their jobs on the line each and every day at practice.
“Every day when we come out here, someone has an opportunity to take someone’s job. And we’ll go back and look at the film tonight and see what we think. If somebody’s making move, we’ll make a move,” Coach Fedora says.
Coach Fedora says the Tar Heels will need to keep their eyes firmly focused on talented Pirate wide receiver Justin Hardy. He says his physicality and athleticism will require gang tackling to bring him down.
“He’s a big guy […] who can run. He does a lot of things for them. You got to get a lot of guys around him. He’s hard to bring down. He can break tackles. He’s not your normal wide receiver,” Coach Fedora says.
In all likelihood, East Carolina will attack with an aerial assault in Kenan Stadium on Saturday. And Coach Fedora says it will be a tough assignment for the defense coming off the option ground game they faced last weekend.
“The defense has to make a quick turnaround. […] They got to put everything out of their head that we’ve been working on the last two weeks,” Coach Fedora says.
We’ll all find out how quickly the Tar Heels can adapt to the Pirate attack at half past noon on Saturday.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-ready-for-pirate-invasion/
CHAPEL HILL– UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams delivered a couple big announcements at Media Day on Thursday. And not surprisingly, they both revolved around the embattled junior guard P.J. Hairston.
Coach Williams says Hairston has earned the opportunity to practice with the team when the Tar Heels open up official practice for the 2013-2014 campaign on Friday. Hairston was suspended on July 28.
Up to this point, Coach Williams says Hairston has complied with all of his demands and that he “has never made the demands on a young man that [he has] made of P.J.”
Coach Williams also says the final decision on how many games Hairston will miss of the regular season will be made before any games are played. He says he just hasn’t made up his mind on the exact length of the suspension.
But it won’t be long now before that decision. The Tar Heels open up their regular season on November 8 against Oakland University.
CHAPEL HILL– The string of road games for the UNC women’s soccer team continues Thursday night at 7 p.m. when they take on new conference member Pittsburgh.
The Tar Heels and the Panthers will be meeting for the first time in history. The contest will be staged at Peterson Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
So far this season, the Tar Heels have spent the majority of their time away from Chapel Hill. After Thursday’s game, UNC will have played eight of its first 11 games on the road.
Despite the brutal stretch, Coach Anson Dorrance’s defending national champs sit a respectable 8-2 on the season and 2-2 in the ACC. The Panthers are winless in their four conference match-ups.
Tar Heel fans can catch the game on ESPN3 via Pitt Panthers TV.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolinas-next-stop-pittsburgh/
CHAPEL HILL– We’re two days out from another football game day in Chapel Hill. And with it, will be another chance at redemption for a Tar Heel squad still trying to put the puzzle pieces together, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Offensive Coordinator Blake Anderson says his boys have developed a nasty habit.
“You name it; we’ve done it, to be honest with you. We just have this habit right now of creating some self-inflicted wounds-penalty, busted assignment, some decision-making, and some missed reads. It plagued us the whole second half the other day,” Coach Anderson says.
Coach Anderson looked back on the film from last week’s contest, and he says the ground game still has a lot of issues stemming from miscommunication, and he says his running backs desperately need more reps.
“We still got some timing, decision-making, and continuity issues that are going to come with reps. We’re still not where we want to be. We need more reps. We really do,” Anderson says.
The Tar Heels were in a similar position last year at this point in the season, and Coach Anderson says he is doing his best to remind his team of that as they fight to regain traction in the ACC.
“We had made some similar mistakes. And I just reminded them we rallied from that. We got better every week and did some really good things offensively. We’re in virtually the same shape,” Coach Anderson says.
Coach Anderson says UNC tight end Eric Ebron is one of the best athletes he has ever coached in his over twenty years of experience, but Ebron says he is not satisfied with his play. He demands more.
“I can get even better. That’s my job. That’s my motivation. Things like that […] will help the team. It will relay down,” Ebron says.
Ebron says his childhood dream was always to become a firefighter, and maybe that’s why he carries so much passion with him on the football field?
He says that immense passion sometimes carries over into being “a thorn in the side” of the coaches. But Ebron says he doesn’t plan on changing that side of him anytime soon.
“It’s the only way to let them know I’m here. And I’m always going to be here. I’m not going anywhere. They got me for the rest of the year. […] I’m letting them know that I’m going to be a thorn in their side every day we have practice. Because situations like Saturday, I want the ball. And if you don’t give me the ball, I’m going to be even more of a pain in your side,” Ebron says.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/thorn-in-side-ebron-pushes-coaches-personal-limits/
CHAPEL HILL – The Carolina volleyball team opened up ACC play in style Wednesday night. The Tar Heels swept through NC State 3-0 and maintained their unbeaten season.
Carmichael Arena was treated to a demolition as the Tar Heels won their 28th straight home match and extended their 2013 record to 12-0.
Down 23-19 in the third set, Carolina scored six straight points to take set three 25-23 and secure its ninth sweep of the season.
Carolina closes out its seven-match home stand in Carmichael Arena, hosting ACC newcomer Notre Dame on Friday at 7 p.m. The Tar Heels swept the Irish 3-0 to open the season in a non-ACC match at MTSU’s Blue Raider Bash.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-volleyball-sweeps-state-stays-perfect/
CHAPEL HILL–It’s that time of the week again. That time when we take a step back from the bright lights of the football field, basketball court and soccer turf to check in on some exciting Olympic sports action in Tar Heel country. This weekend, the top ranked women’s field hockey team and the surging, no. 15 volleyball squad will be busy.
-Field Hockey: Last weekend, the team emerged victorious in their game against Radford by a score of 8-1. With a balanced attack that included goals from six different players, the top-ranked team now sets their sights on ACC play looking to preserve their unblemished 6-0 season record. On Friday at 6 p.m. the Tar Heels will head up the road to Charlottesville to face Virginia. And Carolina will wrap up the weekend with a contest versus VCU in Richmond on Sunday.
-Volleyball: Now up to 15 in the latest polls, Carolina will be looking to keep the good times rolling this weekend in Chapel Hill. Still undefeated and boasting UNC’s best season start since way back in 1981, the Tar Heels welcome a pair of Big Ten foes to Carmichael Arena for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Friday at 7 p.m. is the start time for UNC’s game against the sixteenth-ranked Fighting Illini of Illinois. After that, Carolina will square off against Indiana at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
TALLAHASSEE, FL– The UNC Women’s Soccer team dropped its second straight match on Wednesday night against league rival Florida State by an all too familiar 1-0 margin. The Seminoles have beaten the Tar Heels the last three times they’ve played by that same scoreline.
Although the Tar Heels outshot the Seminoles 17-10 and had an edge in corner kicks 8-2, another loss befell the reeling UNC team that seemed to have everything clicking in high gear only a week ago as the top ranked team in the nation.
The deciding goal came late in the game after the Tar Heels were called for a handball near midfield. On the restart, Florida State pounced on the UNC mistake as Jamia Fields scored for the Seminoles from 18 yards out on the right side just 7:37 left before the end of regulation.
It is a puzzling time for the Carolina team as they have outshot Notre Dame and FSU 35-15 in the last two games but dropped back-to-back 1-0 decisions.
The Tar Heels will look to solve their offensive woes on Sunday against Miami at 1 p.m.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-continue-slide-in-loss-to-fsu/
BUIES CREEK, NC–Top-ranked UNC escaped with a 1-0 overtime victory over Campbell Tuesday night on Raby George’s goal in the 97th minute.
North Carolina out shot the Camels by a 16-8 margin, but it took going to overtime for the fourth time in five games to grab the win and remain unbeaten through five games.
The first half of play was controlled by Carolina, but it was the second half where the Tar Heels started to get more shots on goal. And finally, despite the defensive-minded efforts of the Camels, UNC hit pay dirt to pull out a close nail-biter on the road and improve to 3-0-2 on the season.
Next up for the Tar Heels is a visit to Virginia Tech on Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/no-1-mens-soccer-prevails-in-ot/