CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina grabbed its second victory of the year against Notre Dame Friday, winning in straight sets 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-22) in the Irish’s first-ever ACC volleyball match.
The Tar Heels (13-0, 1-0) posted a season-high 13 aces while hitting .370 behind Jovana Bjelica’s 16 kills and Leigh Andrew’s eight kills and four blocks.
Set one was tied at 16-16, but the Tar Heels pulled ahead on a 9-3 run to take it. Bjelica had seven kills, and Lauren Adkins added four to lead UNC to a .312 team attack.
UNC took the second set behind six aces and a .400 hitting percentage. Bjelica and Andrew each contributed four kills, and Kayla Berringer and Victoria McPherson added two blocks apiece.
UNC secured its 10th sweep of the year in the third with help of five kills and a block from Bjelica. Andrew tallied four kills and two blocks. The Tar Heels and Irish (6-6, 0-1) were tied at 19-all, but UNC once again fought back to take the win while hitting a solid .395 in set three.
Duke 3: Virginia 0: The host Blue Devils (10-2, 1-0 ACC) won their sixth-straight match, downing the Cavaliers (7-6, 0-1) in each teams’ ACC opener 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Junior outside hitter Jeme Obeime led all players with 16 kills while sophomore outside hitter Emily Sklar added 12 for the Blue Devils.
Obeime had 16 kills on 28 attack attempts, committing just three attack errors while posting a .429 hitting percentage. It was Obeime’s second consecutive match with double-digit kills. Sklar raised her team-leading kills total to 130 for the 2013 campaign.
Freshman Jordan Tucker registered a match-high .538 hitting percentage, amassing eight kills on 13 attack attempts. She also added four blocks in the win. Duke totaled eight blocks to Virginia’s four.
Duke’s defense held the Cavaliers to hitter percentages below .200 hitting percentage in all three sets. Three Blue Devils reached double-digit digs, paced by senior Ali McCurdy’s 14. Sophomore Elizabeth Campbell added 11 digs to go along with five blocks, while junior setter Maggie Deichmeister picked up her fifth double-double of the season with 11 digs and 32 assists.
N.C. A&T 3, N.C. Central 1: The host Eagles (0-17) remained winless, falling 26-24, 31-29, 19-25, 25-8 to the Aggies (2-15).
ACC: It has been nearly 34 years since the ACC held a postseason fencing championship, but plans are in motion for the resumption of an ACC postseason fencing championship that will feature both men’s and women’s competition, beginning in February of 2015.
The resumption became possible this past July when Notre Dame officially joined the ACC giving the conference four varsity programs, as required by ACC bylaws for championship sport recognition. The Fighting Irish will join North Carolina, Duke and Boston College.
It is not as if ACC fencing has totally fallen off the radar since its last league championship was held in 1980. Duke and North Carolina have both posted top-10 NCAA finishes. Duke have claimed four NCAA individual titles.
Notre Dame placed second at the 2013 NCAA championships and owns eight NCAA titles, including three since 2003.
Coaches from each school met with league officials earlier this week to begin hammering out details of the sport’s re-entry into conference championship competition.
Shaw: The Bears announced Darryl Butler as an assistant coach. Butler comes to Shaw from Virginia State where he served for two years as an assistant. Prior to that, he worked at Frederick County (Md.) and Montgomery County (Md.) Community Colleges.
Campbell: Craig Hornberger was been named Big South Conference freshman of the week after finishing second in his first collegiate tournament.