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(Hl|r Daily (Ear MM
UNC rebounds to top Tigers
BY BEN COUCH
Everyone in Carmichael
Auditorium watched the ball hang
in the air as North Carolina middle
hitter Katie Wright rose up for the
When she slammed the ball onto
the gym’s storied floor, to close out
a 3-1 victory
on Tuesday, it
was a fitting
bookend to the match.
Wright had nailed three kills to
help close out the first game as
well, and she didn’t want to have to
do it a third time.
“When it got close there at the
end... my goal was to win the game
at all costs,” she said. “I was not
going to go to a fifth game there.”
The Tar Heels (9-4, 1-0 in the
ACC) almost did, after allowing a
21-15 lead to slip to a 26-25 deficit.
But the young team showed a
seasoned maturity at the end, clos
ing out the Tigers (10-6,0-1) in the
two teams' first ACC match of the
“I liked the fact that the game
got tight and we were able to pull
out the victory with some very
clutch play at the end tough
serves, tough swings,” said UNC
coach Joe Sagula. “We were
aggressive at the very end, and we
didn’t play conservative."
Sophomore Dani Nyenhuis also
stepped up for the Tar Heels, set
ting a career high with 21 kills to
go with an impressive .348 kill per
centage and 10 digs.
She chalked it up to Sagula run-
Pyles leads Tar Heels with intensity, clutch play
BY MARY DUBY
Coming off two heart-wrench
ing losses last weekend to
Northwestern and Florida, the
captains of the North Carolina vol
leyball team had just one thing in
mind Tuesday against Clemson.
“We want to show everyone that
we’re not really bad, show every
one that (we’re) not as bad as (we)
played,” said junior co-captain
The Tar Heels showed an ener
gized crowd at Carmichael
Auditorium just that, beating the
Tigers in four games.
Strong leadership on the court
played a key role the victory. Pyles
and senior Aletha Green, two of
UNC’s three returning starters,
kept the team focused despite sev
eral late comebacks by Clemson.
Coach Joe Sagula was pleased
with his captains.
“I think they’re doing a good
job,” he said. “Aletha’s taking over
more right now because she’s able
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ning a strong practice Monday fol
lowing North Carolina’s tough
weekend at the Wildcat Classic.
“At practice yesterday, Coach
pushed all the outside hitters hard
and I think everyone just respond
ed well to it,” Nyenhuis said. “We
got pushed real hard and it worked
well across the board.”
The stats back her up.
Outside hitter Molly Pyles had
17 kills, Wright added 13 and also
two blocks. Setters McKenzie Byrd
and Norma Cortez each recorded
more than 25 assists.
“Some real good things hap
pened throughout the match,”
Sagula said. “Individuals stepped
up great swings from people,
people came off the bench and did
some key things for us. I was excit
ed about that.”
The Tar Heels also played well
defensively, as four players record
ed double-digit dig totals, includ
ing libero Caroline deßoeck and
outside hitter Meg Eckert. Asa
team, UNC held Clemson to a .196
In game one, the Tar Heels got
out to a 17-12 lead before allowing
Clemson to pull even at 19.
The teams traded points until
the Tar Heels won three of four to
close out a 30-27 win.
UNC went on a six-point run in
the middle of game two behind
Cortez’s serve, which appeared to
put the Tigers away.
But Clemson answered immedi
ately with a 9-2 run of its own to
take a 26-25 advantage before win
ning the game 30-27-
North Carolina came out with
to come in the game, come out of
the game, and add the energy.”
While Green directed the team
and kept them focused with her
energy, Pyles led by example. Her
dominant presence on the court
stemmed from her desire to avenge
the weekend losses.
In the match, she tallied 17 kills,
12 digs and two blocks. When the
Tigers set the ball, they often found
Pyles ready with the block. She had
a diving save in game one to keep a
UNC rally alive, and she came up
huge again in the game again with
a kill for the winning point.
Sagula had high hopes for Pyles
for the 2003 season after she was
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UNC outside hitter Dani Nyenhuis (left) evades a Clemson block in her
kill attempt. Nyenhuis had a career-high 21 kills in the Tar Heels' win.
fire after the break and dominated
the Tigers early in game three,
jumping out to a 23-10 lead and
winning easily, 30-19.
The final game was a close
match from start to finish, with no
more than six points separating
the teams at any given point.
UNC dropped five straight
points to face a 26-25 hole.
Wright’s kill at 29-28 sealed the
named second-team All-ACC and
was an East Region Honorable
Mention in 2002.
“Everybody expected Molly to
be a major force and she’s been
able to do that,” Sagula said. “She’s
a force in the conference, a go-to
player. She carried us early on in
The crowd supported Pyles and
kept her pumped.
“The atmosphere was awesome,"
she said. “We really feed off it. I
love it when (Carolina) Fever
Pyles’ adrenaline may get the
best of her at some points, though.
“She likes to win the game in
The Tar Heels will face stiff
competition this weekend against
Florida State and No. 5 Georgia
Tech, and are chomping at the bit.
“We’re going to work our butts
off in practice this week,” Wright
said. “We have our eye on two wins,
that’s what we’re focused on right
Contact the Sports Editor
at sports @ unc.edu.
one big swing,” Sagula said. “We’re
trying to teach her to be patient.”
It might be difficult for the Tar
Heels to be patient as they prepare
to meet Florida State and the No.
5 team in the country, Georgia
Pyles is looking forward to this
weekend with intensity.
“I’m glad that we can take the
momentum from this win and go
straight into the weekend.”
Contact the Sports Editor
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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2003
Tar Heels feast
on Red Hawks
BY BRANDON COWARD
The first-ever meeting between
the North Carolina and Miami
(Ohio) field hockey teams was like
Warren Sapp and Gary Coleman
sharing a seesaw lopsided.
The Tar Heels controlled every
minute of Tuesday’s game and won
10-0 their highest scoring per-
13-0 two years
Miami (Ohio) 0
With Tuesday’s victory the Tar
Heels (9-0) matched their win total
for all of last season.
“We didn’t really know much
about Miami, so we just planned to
work on getting our shots on target
and our fundamental skills,” said
junior forward Kelsey Keeran.
After taking the first few min
utes of the game to feel out the
defense, No. 2 UNC began pour
ing in one goal after another for a
first-half total of eight.
Keeran opened the floodgates
with the first goal of the game, slap
ping in freshman Laree Beans’ pass
from the baseline.
Keeran, named ACC Player of
the Week on Monday, and junior
Carey Fetting-Smith both logged
hat tricks. Freshman Rachel
Dawson had two goals and juniors
Laura Douglas and Kerry
Falgowski scored one apiece.
UNC forward Karen Mann (19) sprints past a Miami defender in the
first half. The Tar Heels scored eight first-half goals in the shutout win.
A brief look at the statistics pro
vides quick evidence of UNC’s dom
inance, with the Red Hawks posting
only one shot and no penalty cor
ners, while the Tar Heels fired 35
shots and won 11 penalty- comers.
UNC never let up on the Red
Hawks (1-5), scoring its final goal
with less than a minute to go in the
The Tar Heels’ early lead allowed
Coach Karen Shelton to experi
ment with players in parts of the
field they wouldn’t normally play.
“I’m trying to get the girls to be
versatile,” Shelton said. “If they’re
primarily a defender, I don’t want
them to spaz out if they make a ran
into the circle.”
For example, backs Naomi
Weatherald and Ashley Judge got a
chance to play forward, while for
wards Keeran and Beans tried their
hand at patrolling the midfield.
The second half was also a good
time for the team to polish up its
passing and fundamentals for
what could possibly be its biggest
matchup of the year Friday against
No. 1 Wake Forest.
“Today we were looking for fun
damental execution, good deci
sion-making, hard work off the
ball and support play," Shelton
said. “I was pleased with the effort.
“Now, we can really turn our
sights to Wake Forest.”
Contact the Sports Editor
at sports@ unc.edu.