Women's Volleyball Swept By No. 20 UNC
Ashley Murray had seven kills on .462 hitting for the Beach.
LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team took on its second ranked team in a row to start the 2014 season but fell 25-23, 25-10, 25-22 to 20th-ranked North Carolina. The Beach (0-2) pushed the Tar Heels (2-0) to the brink in the first and third sets but couldn’t close out for the win.
Bre Mackie had nine kills for the second match in a row and the freshman Ashley Murray put together a strong showing with seven kills on .462 hitting. However, the Beach hit only .154 as a team while UNC hit .311.
The final stats don’t quite tell the whole story as the Beach actually outhit the Tar Heels in the first set. Murray led that charge with four of her kills in the first set on eight swings. The Beach hit .256 and kept Carolina to .255 hitting. It was a tight match until the end with 11 ties. The Beach only led once but stayed well within striking distance.
The short run to get on top came late in the set as Carolina edged out the win. LBSU stayed right on the heels of UNC and tied the match at 23-23 on a solo block from Murray, but a service error and a Taylor Treacy kill gave Carolina the two-point advantage at the end.
The Tar Heels charged out in the second set and hit .733 in the set to go up 2-0 at the break. The Tar Heels also held LBSU in the negatives for the big win.
A lineup change and momentum shift had Long Beach State out in front for nearly the entirety of the third set. UNC climbed into six ties but spent the majority of the set playing catch up to the Beach. However, shades of Friday night’s match with Illinois started to show late. Long Beach went up 21-19 on Mackie’s final kill of the afternoon. A couple of attack errors and a block gave North Carolina its first lead of the set in the blink of an eye at 22-21.
After an ace put Carolina up two, the 49ers took a timeout and Sophie Bukovec responded with an emphatic kill to pull the Beach back within one. Bukovec had a pair of kills in the set as part of the new rotation that led the Beach charge. Sara Watanabe also made her collegiate debut in the set with a pair of digs.
Bukovec’s kill would be the final point of the match for the Beach as UNC rolled off the last two points to complete the sweep.
Long Beach State is back in action later today against Southern Illinois.
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