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Volleyball Starts Florida Swing with Seminoles

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CHAPEL HILL– No. 12 UNC volleyball kicks off its Florida swing Friday night against the No. 20 Florida State Seminoles.

For the first time under head coach Joe Sagula, the Tar Heels reached 20 wins before November. Last time out on the court, the Tar Heels shut down Pittsburgh 3-1.

Star Tar Heel player Jovana Bjelica leads the team with 232 kills, 20 aces, and 41 blocks while Leigh Andrew has posted 161 kills of her own to go along with 219 digs.

UNC is 20-36 all-time against FSU, but Carolina currently sits tied atop the ACC standings with a 9-1 record in conference and a 20-1 mark overall.

Florida State enters with a 17-5 overall record and 8-2 tally in conference play.  The 7 p.m. match Friday night can be viewed on ESPN3.

Carolina Volleyball Claims 20th Win of Season

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CHAPEL HILL– UNC Volleyball just keeps cruising along. Head Coach Joe Sagula has his girls flying around the court this season and on Sunday, they notched a 3-1 victory over ACC newcomer Pittsburgh in Chapel Hill.

Standout performer Jovana Bjelica tallied 16 kills and four blocks while Victoria McPherson tied her season-high with 14 kills.

“We had a really great team effort today, and I was proud of how we got better as the match went along,” head coach Joe Sagula said. “Pitt was a really good team, they serve tough, defend well, and Jessica Wynn really played a great match for them.”

With the win, Carolina improved to 20-1 on the season and 9-1 in the ACC.

Next up for the Tar Heels comes a weekend trip to the Sunshine State. A Friday night match against No.18 Florida State and a Sunday meeting with the Miami Hurricanes are on tap for this Carolina squad.

Road Warriors: Tar Heel Volleyball Completes Weekend Double

CHAPEL HILL– The No.13 Tar Heel volleyball team conjured up some Saturday night magic.

The Tar Heels rallied from a 2-1 deficit to earn an impressive 3-2 road victory over Virginia Tech Saturday to cap off a successful weekend in the state of Virginia.

The star performer was Jovana Bjelica with 17 kills on the night to lead Carolina to the rally.

Carolina downed the Cavaliers of Virginia the night before in three straight sets. With the pair of wins, UNC improved to 18-1 overall and 7-1 in conference action.

Next up for the Tar Heels comes a return to Chapel Hill next weekend, facing Maryland on Friday at 5 p.m. prior to Late Night with Roy at the Dean Smith Center.

Tar Heel Volleyball Begins ACC Road Trip

CHAPEL HILL– The No. 13 UNC volleyball team will be back in action this weekend. And their ACC road trip begins Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Virginia Cavaliers.

Carolina suffered their lone loss of the season last Friday night against Duke, but they rebounded with a 3-0 win over Wake Forest the following day.

UNC enters the Virginia match sporting a 16-1 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the ACC. Virginia is sitting at 10-8 on the year and is level at 3-3 in conference play.

Carolina is 41-14 against the Cavaliers all-time. Last year, UNC downed UVA in both of their meetings.

Volleyball Rebounds with Wake Forest Victory

CHAPEL HILL–Carolina volleyball is back on track. The No. 10 Tar Heels swept Wake Forest Saturday to move their record to a school record 16-1 overall and 5-1 in ACC play.

Lauren Adkins notched 12 kills and a block, and Paige Neuenfeldt and Hayley McCorkle doubled for 15 kills and six blocks as Carolina responded nicely from its first loss of the season to Duke on Friday.

“I thought it was great to come back and get a win after our first loss of the season,” Head Coach Joe Sagula says. “That was important for us to get a little confidence back. We knew it was a big weekend coming in, so getting the win tonight allows us to keep our eye on where we want to be at the end of the season.”

Next up for the Tar Heels lies a road trip. Next weekend they will face Virginia Friday at 7 p.m. and Virginia Tech Saturday at 6 p.m.

Streak Snapped: Sloppy Tar Heels Fall to Duke

CHAPEL HILL– Carolina volleyball’s undefeated season was snapped Friday night at the hands of the rival Duke Blue Devils.

The Tar Heels fell in straight sets (22-25, 22-25, 19-25) in front of a record 5,322 in attendance for Turn It Pink Night in Carmichael Arena.

No. 10 Carolina dropped to 15-1 on the season and 4-1 in the ACC with the loss while Duke improved to 14-2 overall and 5-0 in conference.

Head Coach Joe Sagula says all the unforced errors, 28 in total, proved to be the undoing of the Tar Heels. Duke only committed 14 errors Friday.

“It was an unbelievably great environment to play in, but I hope we can do this again and play better,” Coach Sagula says.

Despite the disappointment, Jovana Bjelica turned in a great individual performance, racking up 10 kills and two blocks in the contest.

The good news is that the Tar Heels won’t have to wait long to wipe the sour taste of defeat out of their mouths. They’ll be back out on the floor Saturday at 5 p.m. in a league match against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

UNC Volleyball Machine: A Conversation with Coach Sagula

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CHAPEL HILL– There are some ladies wearing Carolina jerseys who have been lighting up Carmichael Arena lately. And no, we’re not talking about the women’s basketball team. Not yet, at least.

Off to their best start and ranking in school history, the members of the Tar Heel Volleyball team are brimming with confidence.

But Head Coach Joe Sagula says his No. 10 ranked Carolina squad, currently sitting at 15-0, needs to stay grounded despite all the success they’ve been enjoying this season.

“The confidence is high, but we’re trying to keep it under control. It’s a fine line between being cocky and confident. We are trying to just walk the confidence line. The job of the coaches is to constantly remind us that we have to keep getting better,” Coach Sagula says.

Although only half way through the season, Coach Sagula says he is happy with the amount of attention the volleyball program is receiving.

Coach Sagula says he thinks the biggest growth in his Tar Heel squad has occurred in the overall balance of leadership. He says it helps to have a team full of players looking to step it up at different times.

“I think it’s a shared experience this year. And I think that’s something we were hoping for. Different people have stepped up and helped drive the team to being successful at different times,” Coach Sagula says.

Earlier in the season, redshirt junior Chaniel Nelson was ruled out for the remainder of the year due to a stress fracture in her tibia. But Coach Sagula says the diagnosis cleared up all uncertainty for the Tar Heels and has helped many of his players fill new roles.

“We were going to play hard without her until we knew what the situation was. Once we realized that, it allowed us to go forward and think about how we are going to continue and plan to get better this year with the personnel we have,” Coach Sagula says.

The Tar Heels boast an impressive 29-game home winning streak. And Coach Sagula says defending the home court in Chapel Hill is something Carolina definitely takes pride in.

“We don’t emphasize the streak. However, we do definitely talk about the fact that we want to defend Carmichael Arena. We want to make sure that we are always playing our best at home in front of our home crowd,” Coach Sagula says.

Surveying the ACC title landscape, Coach Sagula says he doesn’t have to look far for Carolina’s toughest competition. That squad happens to be just a short drive down 15-501.

And Friday’s 7 p.m. conference showdown is against those Duke Blue Devils. It will be Carolina’s annual Turn It Pink night for breast cancer awareness. Pink UNC volleyball shirts will be sold, and player jerseys will be auctioned off at Carmichael Arena.

Undefeated Volleyball Reaches Highest Ranking

CHAPEL HILL – The UNC volleyball team is unbeaten through 15 matches dropping only four sets all season and has received its highest ranking is program history.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association placed Carolina at No. 10 in its most recent poll released Monday. The Tar Heels are the only undefeated team in the top ten and one of only three in the top 25.

The 15-0, 4-0 start continues the best in school history. UNC is also riding a 29-game winning streak in Chapel Hill which dates back to October 2011.

Carolina hosts rival Duke Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Wake Forest Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Friday’s match is the annual Turn It Pink night as the team raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research. will have additional information about Turn It Pink as the match gets closer.

Volleyball Reaching New Heights

CHAPEL HILL– There is some top-notch volleyball being played in Chapel Hill these days. In fact, UNC women’s volleyball has now tied the best ever program ranking by landing at No. 11 in this week’s AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.

Carolina, now 13-0 and 2-0 in the ACC, was last ranked eleventh way back in the 2002 season. In that year, they finished the season at No. 12. But this group of Tar Heels will be looking to improve on that season finish.

Already having jumped out to the team’s best season start in program history, UNC remains one of only three schools left undefeated. The Tar Heels are joined by the No. 1 Washington Huskies and the No. 17 Colorado State Rams in the unblemished club.

Carolina will dive into ACC road play this weekend, paying a visit to Syracuse on Friday and wrapping things up at Boston College on Sunday.

Olympic Sports Spotlight

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.