Chapel Hill, N.C.- Ohio Volleyball showed resiliency and fighting spirit this evening but fell to North Carolina in five sets, 25-17, 16-25, 20-25, 25-14, 10-15. The Bobcats (5-6) had their 13-set winning streak snapped as UNC improved to 9-2.
Kelly Lamberti led the way with a season-high 21 kills and matched her season-high with 19 digs. Serena Warner also reached double figures with 10 kills, hitting .625.
UNC jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set but Ohio answered quickly and took a 7-5 lead on a Lamberti ace. The lead never went higher than three before UNC evened things at 13-13 on a kill by Chaniel Nelson.
The Bobcats put together a five-point run to go ahead 18-13 and eventually pulled away from the Tar Heels to take the first set 25-17. Ohio hit .343 in the set with 17 kills on 35 attacks.
The second set started evenly at 7-7 before a five-point run by UNC that culminated in an ace by Lauren Adkins. After cutting the gap to three at 14-11, the Tar Heels strung together four successive points (two kills by Adkins) to open up a seven-point cushion.
UNC pushed the lead to nine and that turned out to be the final margin, 25-16. The Tar Heels answered a subpar first set by hitting .371 and tallying four service aces
With the match tied at one game apiece, both sides knew the third set would be pivotal. Ohio took an 8-3 lead but the home side would respond and eventually forge ahead 11-10. With the game tied 13-13, UNC scored four in a row and forced a Bobcat timeout. The Tar Heels would take on another point for the final margin as they won the set 25-20.
Ohio could have folded right then and there, but the character of this Bobcat team showed itself once again. The Green and White grabbed a 9-5 lead and never looked back. Leading 16-12, the `Cats went on a 5-0 run that concluded with a dual block by Faith Robins and Bull.
Ohio pushed the lead to double figures with a set-ending four-point run on the strength of three Lamberti kills. The Bobcats hit .367 and recorded six blocks while limiting the Tar Heel attack to a -.062 hitting percentage.
UNC led 6-3 in the fifth and final set before Ohio rallied. Consecutive kills by Warner were followed by a Lamberti slam to even the set. However, the Tar Heels won the next two points and would not relinquish the lead.
UNC scored the final five points and hit .478 en route to winning the set 15-10 and the match in five games.
Ohio plays NC State tomorrow afternoon in Raleigh to complete this three-match road swing through North Carolina. Start time is scheduled for 2 p.m.