Playing on the road at #24 North Carolina (2-5) on Friday night in Carmichael Arena, LMU volleyball (6-4) managed a five-set 25-17, 25-27, 19-25, 25-14, 15-11 victory to record its first win over a ranked opponent this year.
Megan Rice led the way on the attack, registering 19 kills on 31 swings with just three errors to record a .516 hitting percentage. Savannah Slattery and Sara Kovac also finished with double-digit kills, notching 16 and 15, respectively. The Lions, who hit .251 as a team, received a double-double from sophomore setter Jessie Prichard. Prichard teamed a match-best 36 assists with 16 digs, while Tess Reid contributed 22 more assists. On the block, LMU registered eight as a team behind five block assists from Emma Johnson.
"Megan Rice had a breakout match, Kekai continues to improve each match and served exceptionally well and Kris came up with some huge digs at the end of the 5th set," head coach Aaron Mansfield said postmatch.
-- LMU Volleyball (@LMU_Volleyball) September 16, 2017
Taylor Leath and Beth Nordhorn reached double-digit kills for UNC, finishing with 13 and 12, in that order. Nordhorn recorded the 12 on just 24 attacks with two errors to claim a .417 hitting percentage. She also pitched in seven block assists as the Tar Heels totaled 11 blocks as a team. Setter Holly Carlton recorded a double-double in the loss, teaming 28 assists with 13 digs.
The two teams found themselves locked in a very evenly-played match throughout, with LMU and UNC battling to 27 total tie scores and eight lead changes. The second set was especially close, as the Lions and Tar Heels found themselves knotted 18 times with five lead changes.
"I am really proud of how we responded as a team from our performance on Wednesday," Mansfield added. "North Carolina is one of the taller more physical teams in the country. We will reset our focus now on Duke, who is another very good ACC team."
LMU will travel to Duke to conclude non-conference play on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. PT
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