The North Carolina volleyball team looked to be the next powerhouse in the ACC at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Fresh off a second round NCAA tournament run in 2015 and an Elite Eight appearance a season prior, the Tar Heels had signed the No. 3 recruiting class in the country for the class of 2016. It, along with the team's veterans, powered the Tar Heels to the Sweet 16 in 2016. Expectations were sky high.
Now, only one year later, the roster in Carmichael will have a whole new look, thanks to four of the current roster's stars leaving this offseason.
Julia Scoles, Holly Carlton, Taylor Leath and Taylor Borup have all decided to transfer away from Chapel Hill, head coach Joe Sagula confirmed in a statement to Argyle Report. All four players have been removed from the team's online roster, along with Sehrena Hull, Mariah Evans and Keimaya Hunter.
Julia Scoles announced her transfer to the University of Hawaii's beach volleyball program on April 19th on Instagram. According to Sagula, the 2016 ACC Freshman of the Year is retiring from indoor play due to her past history with concussions and will only play beach for Hawaii. Scoles missed all but two games of the entire 2017 season due to concussions.
Holly Carlton will be transferring to Florida, a move which was announced by the Gators on April 24. The 2017 U.S. Junior National Team member played all six rotations as a redshirt freshman in 2017, switching off between setter and right-side hitter. Carlton led the 2017 squad in assists and service aces, recording 10 double-doubles and four triple-doubles during the season.
Taylor Leath, the 2016 ACC Player of the Year, will be graduating from UNC this month after four years with the Tar Heel program, per Sagula. She's decided to enroll in graduate school at Penn State, located near her hometown of Port Matilda, Pa., where she'll complete her final year of eligibility with the Nittany Lions' heralded volleyball program. In her redshirt junior season in 2017, Leath led the Tar Heels in kills and was second on the team in digs. She's a two-time All-ACC selection, earning first team honors in 2016 and second team honors in 2017, and was an AVCA second-team All-American in 2016.
Taylor Borup has also decided to transfer schools, but there is no official information at this time about where she may be transferring, per Sagula. The 2016 All-ACC Freshman team selection fought injuries as a sophomore, playing in only 20 matches, missing eight consecutive contests early in the 2017 campaign.
With the departures of Hull (medical withdrawal from UNC in February), Hunter (forgoing final year of eligibility to focus on her academic major) and Evans (medically retired due to concussions, will join the coaching staff as a student volunteer), along with the graduations of Taylor Fricano and Beth Nordhorn, over half of UNC's 2017 roster will not be on the court in a Tar Heel uniform in 2018.
From a stats perspective, players that accounted for 82.4 percent of the team's kills, 53.7 percent of the team's assists, 43.7 percent of the team's digs and 67.5 percent of the team's blocks are no longer on the roster.