Volleyball Wins a Five-Set Thriller Over North Carolina
Nov. 20, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, NC - In front of perhaps the largest crowd ever in Reynolds Gym, the Wake Forest volleyball team took a 2-1 lead and held on for a thrilling five-set victory over visiting North Carolina Friday night.
The match could be summed-up by the fifth set as the Demon Deacons (10-19, 8-10 ACC) raced out to a 9-4 lead only to see North Carolina (15-14, 11-7 ACC) battle-back and take a 12-9 lead of its own. Wake then rallied behind a crowd of a little over 1,200 to finish the set on a 7-2 run and take the match 16-14.
The Tar Heels won the opening set of the night 25-22 but the Deacs responded to win both sets and two (25-18) and three (25-19) to take a 2-1 lead. A 7-1 run midway through the fourth set allowed UNC to seize the momentum and send the match into a fifth set with a 25-23 victory.
Like she has all season, junior setter Kelsey Jones shined for the Deacs, recording her fifth-straight double-double with a season-high 55 assists and 19 digs. She also notched five kills and five big blocks while guiding the offense to a .205 hitting percentage, which was the first time Wake had hit above .200 in the last four matches.
Junior outside hitter Kristen White also recorded a double-double in the match for Wake with a career-best 25 digs and 16 kills. She smashed her previous career-high of 16 digs, which came earlier this season at North Carolina. White also had a pair of key service aces in the second set.
Sophomore Cambrey Oehler has come off the bench and given the Deacs a spark all season and tonight was no exception. She played a great match in the back row, recording a career-high 24 digs and picking up one service ace. Her previous career-high for digs was 16 which came against Furman in the opening weekend.
Middle blockers Carlin Salmon and Andrea Beck controlled the play at the net for Wake as the duo combined for a total of 13 blocks and 26 kills. Salmon finished the night with 16 kills and six blocks while Beck tied her season-high with seven blocks and 10 kills.
Junior Lauren McIntyre and sophomore Kadija Fornah were the fourth and fifth Demon Deacons to record 10 or more kills on the night as Fornah put-away 13 attacks and McIntyre chipped in with 10. Junior libero Megan Thornberry finished the match with a total of 16 digs and five assists.
North Carolina was led by Emily McGee's double-double as she totaled a match-high 21 kills and collected 15 digs. Setter Erica Behm also had a double-double for the Heels, dishing out 39 assists to go along with 11 digs. Middle blocker Ingrid Hanson-Tuntland chipped in with 12 kills and nine blocks, including five-straight in the fifth set.
Wake finished the match with season-highs in just about every category. The Deacs had a season-best 70 kills, 103 digs, 69 assists and tied a season-high with 13 blocks. Carolina had 53 kills with just a .148 hitting percentage to go along with 79 digs and 10 blocks.
The Demon Deacons would take an early 7-6 lead in the first set but that's when UNC would go on a 6-1 run to take a 12-8 lead. Wake later countered with a 7-4 run of its own to level the score at 18-18, forcing a Tar Heel timeout.
Out of the break, McGee and Hanson-Tuntland each recorded kills to swing the lead back to Carolina and the `Heels would ride that lead the rest of the way for a 25-22 victory. McGee had six kills in the opening frame for UNC while McIntyre put away four kills for the Deacs.
With the score tied at 8-8 in the second, a pair of kills from Beck sparked a 6-1 Wake Forest run that saw the hosts snag a 14-9 edge. The lead would swell to as many as seven at 21-14 after Beck and Fornah hooked-up for back-to-back kills. The teams then traded sideouts the rest of the way as Wake took a 25-18 victory into the locker room. Beck had five of her ten kills in the set while White posted three kills and seven digs.
The third set was all Wake as it broke a 4-4 tied with a 10-2 run to take a commanding 14-6 lead. White had four kills during the spurt and Beck and McIntyre teamed-up for a pair of blocks.
A couple of kills from McGee and Hanson-Tuntland each would help trim the Demon Deacon lead to as little as three at 20-17 but a block from White and Salmon jump-started a 5-2 run for Wake to end the set 25-19. White had five more kills in the set while Jones dished out 13 assists and had four digs.
The fourth set was a back-and-fourth battle as the score was tied a total of 12 times and the lead changed hands six times. Neither team could grab much of an edge early-on until a pair of kills from White broke a 9-9 tie and eventually gave Wake a 14-12 lead. The Deacs then got a bit sloppy and McGee and Hanson-Tuntland pounced on the opportunity as each player had a pair of kills in a 7-1 run that gave the visitors a 21-17 lead.
A couple of kills from Salmon kept things close but the `Heels would eventually pull-out a 25-23 victory and force a fifth set. Salmon had eight kills and no errors in the set for a .727 hitting percentage.
Two kills from Fornah along with a pair of Demon Deacon blocks helped Wake grab an early 7-2 lead in the fifth set. The Deacs eventually took a 9-4 lead after the change-over and looked to be in cruise control but that's when Hanson-Tuntland took over. Her 12th kill of the night closed the gap to 9-6 and then she had her hand in five-straight blocks, capped-off with a huge block solo that gave Carolina an 11-9 lead.
Momentum had clearly swung the way of the visitors as a kill from McGee extended the advantage to 12-9 but back-to-back kills from White brought the crowd back into play and narrowed the lead to 12-11. Jones and Salmon then joined-up to block McGee's next two attacks and now the Deacs were back ahead 13-12.
Both teams had spent their respective timeouts so UNC had no other way of silencing the crowd except for McGee to knock-home her 21st kill of the night to even the score at 13-13. After trading sideouts, an attack error from McGee gave Wake match point at 15-14 and after a nice dig from White out of the back row, Jones won the battle at the net with Hanson-Tuntland for the final point of the night.
Wake held Carolina to just four kills and eight errors in the final set while Jones dished out six assists and had three huge blocks.
The two teams have now split the season series each of the last two seasons with the home team winning each time.
Wake will now host NC State in its final home contest of the year on Saturday night. The Deacons will also honor their three seniors - Sally Fischer, Abby Miller and Kate Rodriguez - prior to the 6 pm match.