Tar Heels Top Pirates
Tar Heels Top Pirates
Chapel Hill, N.C.-Three Tar Heel freshmen recorded their first career start as No. 11 North Carolina defeated East Carolina 30-21, 30-21, 27-30, 30-28 in non-conference action Tuesday night in Carmichael Auditorium. UNC (18-1, 5-0) has won its last 10 games overall and its last 10 games at home.
Red-shirt freshman outside hitter Camilla Ihenetu made her first career start, recording a double-double and setting career bests for kills (13), digs (20) and total blocks (5). Also with her first start, freshman outside hitter Dani Nyenhuis matched Ihenetu with a double-double of a career high 13 kills and a career high of 11 digs.
Freshman setter McKenzie Byrd was also making her first start and recorded a pair of career highs with 49 assists and eight digs. Junior transfer Tammy Foxworth also got into the action, setting a career high with nine kills while match a career high with six blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Katie Wright matched a career high with 12 kills, and sophomore defensive specialist Jayme Mitchell tallied a career high eight digs.
In the first game, a kill by Wright to make the score 3-2 gave the Tar Heels a lead that they would keep for the rest of the game. Nyenhuis and sophomore Molly Pyles each recorded five kills and Ihenetu lead the team with six digs. The game included an 8-0 North Carolina run capped by a block by Ihenetu and Foxworth, before Nyenhuis sealed the 30-21 win with a kill. UNC won the second game 30-21 again while hitting .314 as compared to ECU's -.029. The Tar Heels also held the edge 16-7 in kills, with Ihenetu leading the way with five kills and five digs. A Byrd kill capped a 7-0 run to make the score 11-4 and Carolina continued to roll from there with Foxworth picking up a kill on the 30th point.
A 12-0 East Carolina run negated a 12-10 Tar Heel lead as the Pirates took the third game from UNC. Carolina later trailed 29-22, but a kill by Ihenetu brought started a 5-0 Tar Heels run on the serve of senior outside Laura Greene in her first action of the match. The effort was not enough, as East Carolina clinched the game 30-27 on a kill by freshman Katie Jannusch.
Carolina started the final game of the match with a 2-0 lead on a Pyles kill and Foxworth ace, but ECU battled back to eventually take a 15-11 lead. Greene and senior outside hitter Malaika Underwood entered the game, with Underwood immediately recording a kill. At 13-19, senior setter Eve Rackham entered the game, and from there Carolina would go on a 10-2 run to go ahead 23-21. ECU would battle back, with the game eventually tied at 28-28. The Tar Heels went up 29-28 when Wright and Rackham combined for a block and the won the match when Greene put a ball over the ECU block for a 30-28 win.
Sarah Vick led the Pirates (4-15, 0-4) with 12 kills, while four Pirates recorded double-digit digs. Alexis Jones lead a strong ECU block with a total of 10 (2 solo, 8 assists).
The Pirates will travel for a two-match Conference USA road trip this weekend. ECU will face Cincinnati on Friday and Louisville on Saturday. Both games are set for 7:00 p.m.