Leaf's Milestone Helps @CanesVB Sweep GT
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Savanah Leaf’s 16 kills helped the Hurricanes sweep Georgia Tech, 3-0, and put the senior into an exclusive club in Miami volleyball history.
Leaf became the eighth player in Hurricane history to record 1,000 career kills, joining Lane Carico, Karla Johnson, Valeria Tipiana, Francheska Savage, Alex Johnson, Genny Mayhew and Elizabeth Tyson. The senior’s individual success did not supersede her team’s goals on Sunday.
“It’s a big deal to me,” Leaf said of her achievement. ”But each game is important and I am glad we got the win. Both of the teams this weekend were tough.”
Miami’s offense was solid in the opening set, as seven Canes recorded a kill and the team hit .333 in their 25-16 victory. Leaf led the Hurricanes, hitting .556 with five kills, while Taylor Scott added a service ace to help Miami take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Canes continued their success in the second set, taking a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-22 win. Leaf and Scott combined for nine of Miami’s 14 kills in the second set. The Hurricanes completed their three-set victory with a 25-20 win the third set, extending their current win streak to four matches.
“We continue to get better in areas that we’re working on,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “That’s a dangerous team. They’re searching for a lineup. They have different girls out there. We don’t see that every day. The girls did a nice job adjusting to that. We’re continuing to look for the rhythm we’re trying to find. I thought our transition was the best it’s been, this year.”
Leaf reached the 1,000-kill mark early in the third set, giving Miami a 3-2 lead with her milestone swing. The senior, who finished with 16 kills, eight digs and three blocks, finished the afternoon hitting an impressive. 424.
“I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it, especially being a transfer,” Leaf said. “I think that it’s really exciting that I can leave that mark at the school and give other people hope that even if they do transfer, they have a lot of room to get 1,000 kills. I’m excited because that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to leave a legacy at a school.”
The reigning ACC Player of the Week closed out an impressive weekend, recording 34 kills, 19 digs, six blocks and two aces over seven sets played. An all-around player, Leaf has been a integral part to Miami’s success in 2014.
“I’m really happy for her,” Gandara said. “She’s having a good year. She’s not only our kill leader, she also digs, passes and blocks. She’s becoming a better leader. To see her accomplish that in three years is really nice.”
Miami had seven different players record kills in a balanced attack that hit .263 for the match. Setter Haley Templeton dished out 31 assists, while defensive specialist Kalysta White led the Hurricanes with 14 digs.
Freshman Sakile Simmons led the Canes with seven blocks, third-most in a three-set match in school history.
The Canes are back in action next Friday, when they travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. to face Wake Forest. Miami’s match against the Demon Deacons is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.