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700 Milestone: Carolina Volleyball ‘Killing It’ as Postseason Draws Near

CHAPEL HILL– Following a scrappy 3-2 win over Maryland on Sunday, the Tar Heel volleyball team improved to 26-3 overall and 15-3 in conference play.

This season marks the first time Carolina has reached 26 wins in the regular season since 2002.

Head Coach Joe Sagula says he was proud of his players for staying aggressive and going for their shots in the tight moments against Maryland.

***Listen to the interview***

Coach Joe Sagula 11-25

“I thought we stayed aggressive during that entire time. I kept telling them we wanted them to go after it and to attack as much as we could. You’re not going to win a close match just sitting back and waiting for a team to make an error,” Coach Sagula says. 

Coach Sagula says the key to Carolina’s success on the court this season comes from the balance. The Tar Heels don’t rely on just one player for production.

“I think what’s really made us a good team this year is balance – balanced in terms of on the court and our success. We don’t rely on one player alone to carry us. We need a number of people to be good,” Coach Sagula says.

Sunday’s win marked the 700th career win for Coach Sagula. He says he couldn’t have reached the milestone without great support from the UNC administration and all his outstanding players throughout his 24 years at Carolina.

“Coaches don’t get milestones without all the support of people around them, from the administration here at Carolina to the players who get it done on the court. You have to have great players to win a lot matches. I’ve been very fortunate. We’ve recruited some great kids,” Coach Sagula says.

The Tar Heels close out their regular season with two away matches against Wake Forest on Wednesday and Duke on Friday. Postseason play awaits Coach Sagula’s squad soon after.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/700-milestone-carolina-volleyball-killing-postseason-draws-near/

VBall: Sagula Gets 700th Victory In Spectacular 3-2 Win Vs. Terps

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Head coach Joe Sagula earned his 700th career victory as North Carolina claimed a gutsy 3-2 victory over Maryland on Sunday at the Comcast Pavillion.

Sagula, who is in his 24th season at Carolina, now has a career record of 700-413 in his 33rd year of coaching, including time at the University of Pennsylvania before taking over the helm at UNC.

“Today’s win was an unbelievable comeback for us,” Sagula said. “I thought Maryland played so well. We knew they’d be a tough team and block well. We really had a tough time getting balls past them, and we lost patience at times. I was really proud, though, that we never backed down at the end and showed a lot of mental toughness.”

“Regarding the 700 wins, what comes to mind is thankfulness. I’m thankful to be here with this team. They’re very special people. To be here with them and to celebrate with them is wonderful. I’m also thankful for all the people that have been involved with my coaching over the years,” Sagula said.

Jovana Bjelica finished with season-highs of 20 kills and 18 digs, and Hayley McCorkle posted a career-high 18 kills to lead the Tar Heels, now 26-3 overall and 15-3 in conference play. This is the first time Carolina has reached 26 wins during the regular season since 2002.

The Tar Heels took the first set after holding off a Maryland set point at 24-23 to force extra points and take the frame 29-27. Bjelica posted six kills with six digs, and McCorkle added another four kills for Carolina.

Bjelica and McCorkle each tallied four kills with a block as Carolina took set two, 25-19. Neuenfeldt and Victoria McPherson added two kills and two blocks apiece, and Andrew posted two kills with five digs and a block as UNC held off the Terrapins to take a 2-0 match lead.

Maryland took the extra-points win in set three, 28-26, but the Tar Heels put up a strong battle. With the score tied at 10-10, Maryland posted an 11-3 run to go up 21-13, but the Tar Heels responded with seven straight points to bring it to 21-20, tying the score at 26-26 before the Terps claimed the set. Bjelica had five kills and six digs, and Andrew had four kills with a block for UNC.

It was 4-4 early in set four before the Terps picked up momentum to take the 20-12 lead. UNC brought it within five, 24-19, before Maryland took the frame 25-19 and forced a fifth set. Bjelica tacked on another five kills and Andrew had three kills with seven digs, but Maryland tallied eight team blocks to hold UNC to a .000 attack.

UNC held on through six match-points to take the final frame, 20-18, and claim the match victory. McCorkle was phenomenal in the fifth set particularly, posting six kills, including two to hold off match-points for Maryland, as well as a block. McPherson also added three much-needed blocks, while Jordyn Schnabl added two as well.

Up Next: Carolina closes out the regular season with two final away matches. UNC heads to Wake Forest on Wednesday for a 1 p.m. match and then to current ACC leader Duke for a 3 p.m. Friday match.

The Tar Heels will await their postseason lot, which will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 9:30 p.m.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/vball-sagula-gets-700th-victory-spectacular-3-2-win-vs-terps/

Sweeping Machine: Tar Heel Volleyball Wipes Aside N.C. State

RALEIGH– No. 14 Carolina volleyball had no problems polishing off N.C.State in three straight sets Wednesday night in Raleigh.

The Tar Heels earned their third straight sweep of the Wolfpack and improved to 25-3 and 14-3 in conference play while N.C. State fell to 20-9 overall and 11-6 in the ACC.

Jovana Bjelica and Paige Neuenfeldt combined for 18 kills and eight bocks to lead the Carolina offense. Head Coach Joe Sagula says he was thrilled with the balanced attack and the efficient serving of his team.

Next up for the Tar Heels is a road trip up to College Park to take on Maryland on Sunday at 2 p.m.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/sweeping-machine-tar-heel-volleyball-wipes-aside-n-c-state/

No. 14 Tar Heel Volleyball Takes on N.C. State

CHAPEL HILL– The No. 14 Tar Heels, 24-3 overall and 13-3 in ACC play, will take on N.C.State Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Raleigh.

Carolina is looking to close out the year strong as UNC has just four more matches, all on the road, remaining in the regular season. On Nov. 29, the Tar Heels will close out their regular season against rival Duke, a team that snapped UNC’s bid at an undefeated season.

Jovana Bjelica leads UNC with 297 kills, 24 aces, 129 digs and 52 blocks while Paige Neuenfeldt is third in the conference with a .364 hitting percentage.

No. 14 UNC is 77-29 all-time against the Wolfpack, who are 20-8 overall and 11-5 in conference this season.

The Tar Heels come into the contest on a roll after sweeping Virginia Tech and dismissing Virginia 3-1 last weekend.

The 7 p.m. match can be viewed online via ESPN3.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/no-14-tar-heel-volleyball-takes-on-n-c-state/

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/

Volleyball Starts Florida Swing with Seminoles

Photo courtesy of GoHeels.com

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.

 

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/volleyball-starts-florida-swing-with-seminoles/

Carolina Volleyball Claims 20th Win of Season

Photo courtesy of GoHeels.com

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.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-volleyball-claims-20th-win-of-season/

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.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/road-warriors-tar-heel-volleyball-completes-weekend-double/

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.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heel-volleyball-begins-acc-road-trip/

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.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/volleyball-rebounds-with-wake-forest-victory/