Carolina Holds On For 3-2 Win
Sept. 8, 2007
Chapel Hill, N.C. - The North Carolina volleyball team took a quick 2-0 lead over American in the final match of the Carolina Classic Saturday night and were able to battle and hold on for the 3-2 win. Christine Vaughen earned all-tournament honors as she hit .389 with 21 kills in the win. Carolina will open the 2007 ACC Schedule on Friday, September 14 at NC State in a match set for 7 p.m.
Game one was a tight one throughout as the score was tied 16 times and the lead changed hands on seven separate occasions. Midway through the game neither team to gain an advantage as the score was tied from points number 11-20. The Tar Heels then made a run to take control of the game as Bekah Brinkley picked up back-to-back kills to give Carolina a two point lead at 22-20. The teams would trade points the rest of the way as Carolina claimed the 30-27 victory.
Carolina hit a season-high .527 in the opening game as the Tar Heels only had three attack errors and picked up four blocks. Tallying two block assists apiece were Lauren Prussing and Christine Vaughen.
Game two was more of the same for the Tar Heels as they took a 30-24 win with the help of sophomore Christine Vaughen who hit .778 in the game with seven kills. American evened the score at 11-11 on an Ivana Cebakova kill before the Tar Heels got going and took the lead at 16-13 as American committed three consecutive attack errors. Carolina rolled to the win from that point as Vaughen, Brinkley, Prussing and Heather Brooks all picked up kills down the stretch.
The Tar Heels looked to close out the match with a sweep but American just would not go away as the teams battled through an intense game three. The Eagles tallied another kill by Cebakova to take a 20-19 lead which it looked like it would hold for the game three win. The Tar Heels would disagree even though they were one point from being closed out at 29-24. Brianna Eskola stepped to the line to serve for UNC and proceeded to serve the Tar Heels into a tie at 29-29 before taking the 30-29 lead.
American would even the score at 30-30 before an error for each team increased the score to 31-31. A kill by Cebakova followed by a service error evened the game at 32-32 before American took a 33-32 lead. Brinkley picked up a kill to tie the match for the eighth time before American's Rubena Sukaj picked up two of her 31 kills on the night to push the Eagles to the 35-33.
The Eagles would carry that momentum into game four and push the match to a fifth and final game. American never trailed in game four as it picked up a 30-24 victory. The Tar Heels hit a match-low .089 in the defeat.
Carolina entered the fifth game with quite a bit of experience in game fives as it was the Tar Heels fourth five game match in its last five. UNC was the first to five points (5-3) but was quickly joined there as American evened it up at 5-5. A sneak kill from setter Stephanie Jansma and an American error gave Carolina an 8-6 win as the teams switched sides. American head coach Barry Goldberg called a timeout as the teams switched to calm his team down.
The timeout only seemed to fuel the Tar Heels as they claimed the next three points to lenghten the lead to five (11-6). The Eagles answered with five consecutive points of their own before Courtney Johnston took over for the Tar Heels. Johnston picked up a kill and a solo block to give Carolina the 15-12 win.
Carolina improves to 4-5 on the year with the win which was highlighted by Vaughen's dominant 21 kill performance. Jansma picked up 53 assists and fell just four kills shy of a triple-double with 16 digs and six kills. Heather Brooks contributed 13.5 points for UNC with 10 kills, five assisted blocks along with a solo.
The Carolina Classic was the last non-conference test for the Tar Heels as they will open their 2007 ACC slate on the road Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in Raleigh against NC State. The match can be seen on ACC Select.