CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Despite having only defeated North Carolina once in its previous 19 matchups, the Virginia volleyball (8-4, 1-1 ACC) team handed the Tar Heels their second loss of the season in four sets (25-17, 15-25, 26-24, 25-21) inside Carmichael Arena Sunday afternoon. The victory marked first ACC win for the Cavaliers this season and the first under the direction of first-year head coach Shannon Wells. The Cavaliers were led by Brooklyn Borum (14 kills, 11 digs), Alana Walker (10 kills, 11 blocks) and Mary Shaffer (11 kills, 5 blocks).
With Sunday’s result, North Carolina fell to 11-2 overall on the season with its only other loss coming at the hands of No. 4 Pittsburgh in Carmichael Arena on Friday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Virginia led 15-10 at the media timeout before closing out the first on a 7-1 run to win it, 25-17. The Cavaliers were led by Walker, who put down four of the six balls dished her way in the opening set and added one block assist. Setter Ashley Le tallied a team-best five digs in game No. 1. The Virginia defense held the Tar Heels to just six kills. The Cavaliers also sided out on 78 percent of UNC serves.
- A pair of 5-0 runs for Carolina proved to be the difference in set No. 2, which the Tar Heels won, 25-15. The Cavalier offense struggled to score, finishing the second with just seven kills and six attack errors. Walker was in the mix for four of UVA’s five blocks in the second.
- The Cavaliers finished strong, once again, in set No. 3. UNC led 22-20 before UVA won six of the last seven points to win the third, 26-24, and regain the lead, 2-1. UVA’s 4-0 run to end the third was highlighted by back-to-back Borum kills.
- North Carolina seized a 9-6 advantage to start the fourth, but the Cavaliers orchestrated a 6-1 run to eventually take a 15-12 lead. UVA led by as many as four (20-16) later in the set, but the Tar Heels shrank their deficit to just one, 21-20. To close out the match, the Cavaliers scored on four of the next five plays, including a block by Walker, two Shaffer kills and a service ace by libero Kristen Leland, which gave the Cavaliers their first league victory since 2019.
- The victory is Virginia’s 650th win the program’s history, which played its first match in 1979.
- After posting a team-high 14 kills and 11 digs, Virginia outside hitter Brookyln Borum notched her third consecutive double-double. It was also her fourth of double-double of the season, which leads the team.
- Borum only committed one attack error on a team-high 41 attempts, which resulted in her hitting .317 in Sunday’s match.
- After registering a then-season high 15.5 total blocks against NC State on Friday, the Cavaliers set a season best 16.5 total blocks in Sunday’s victory over UNC.
- Middle blocker Alana Walker, who tallied 10 kills and a match-high 11 blocks, tied her career high in blocks. The graduate transfer also notched a career-best 11 blocks against Indiana in 2018 while playing for Northwestern.
- Walker’s 10-kill, 11-block performance marks her second double-double of the season.
- Walker’s 11 blocks are tied for ninth all-time in Virginia volleyball history.
- With the win, Virginia snapped a three-match losing skid against the Tar Heels. Entering Sunday’s contest, UNC had won 18 of the last 19 matchups.
- The Cavaliers are now 6-0 this season when winning the opening set.
- Outside hitter Grace Turner posted a match-high three service aces.
- Virginia travels to No. 4 Pitt (11-0, 1-0 ACC) on Wednesday (Sept. 29) for its third consecutive road match.
- First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m. and is set to broadcast on ACC Network.