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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 23 North Carolina opened play at the 2015 NCAA Volleyball Tournament on Friday with a decisive victory over UNCW, defeating the nearby Seahawks, 25-18, 25-21, 25-21, to advance to Second Round. UNC improves to 21-9 on the year, while UNCW was bounced from its first-ever NCAA Tournament in the first round, closing its historic season at 24-8.
A driving force for the Tar Heels’ win was All-ACC senior Paige Neuenfeldt, who became Carolina’s all-time career blocking leader in the third set, breaking a 16-year old record with her 567th stuff. The senior middle, who is now also just two block assists away from tying the single-season record, led the Tar Heels with 10 kills and seven of the team’s 14 stuffs in the match.
Fellow middle Victoria McPherson was the most efficient attacker of the night, slamming nine kills without an error to hit .500 against the talented Wilmington defenders who rank 10th in the nation in blocks. Senior Leigh Andrew followed with eight kills to go with 13 digs, and Taylor Treacy added an additional seven slams.
Abigail Curry ran the Tar Heels’ dominant offense, registering a double-double with 29 assists and 13 digs, adding three kills and two blocks.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior outside hitter Erin Fairs had 15 kills, hitting .312 for the match, to lead the University of Louisville volleyball team passed scrappy Belmont University 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Cardinal Arena on Friday Night.
The Cards finished with a .237 hitting percentage as Tess Clark led the way hitting .700 and finished with 14 kills. Janelle Jenkins added 10 kills, Katie George contributed 48 assists and Molly Sauer led the defense with 18 digs. Belmont hit .216 as a team led by 24 kills from Arianna Person with Brie Lewis and Jocelyn Youngdahl adding 14 and 11 kills, respectively. UofL moves to 25-6 overall and Belmont ends its run at 17-15.
In the first set, Louisville used an early 6-0 run to build a 12-4 advantage on a kill by Erin Fairs. The Bruins responded with a 9-4 run to cut the Cardinals lead to 16-13 on an attack error. The set remained tight until Louisville earned set point 24-19 on another kill by Erin Fairs. A dump by Katie George surprised the Bruins to win the set 25-20 for the Cards.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Nicole Walch finished with 19 kills and 14 digs as she notched her eighth double-digit kill performance in the NCAA Tournament, but it was a rally deep in the third set that shifted the momentum as 16th-ranked Florida came away with a 23-25, 25-19, 25-23 and 25-19 victory over 19th-ranked Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
By virtue of her match-high in kills, Walch capped off her career with 1,466 kills, fifth all-time, and 47 double-doubles. She was joined on offense by Sarah Burrington (nine kills) and Katie Horton (seven).
On defense Florida State (25-8) received solid outings from Burrington (four assisted blocks/two solo blocks), Melanie Keil (five assisted blocks) and Mercedes Vaughn (four assisted blocks). The back row tandem of Cecilie Woie (17 digs) and Horton (11 digs) guided Florida State to 62 total digs.