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@CanesVB Sweeps BC for 20th win of 2014

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team secured its 20th win of the season Sunday, sweeping of Boston College.

The three-set victory gave Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara his first 20-win season as a head coach. It is also the seventh time in program history that the Hurricanes have notched 20 wins in a season.

“It was a good match and Boston College played well,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “They served well and they’re a good defensive team that forced us to play long rallies. We didn’t have our best start, but I liked our composure towards the end of the game.”

Miami and Boston College battled early, needing extra points to decide the opening set. The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead in the match when they clinched the first set, 31-29. Taylor Scott led Miami with six kills, while Savanah Leaf and Kelsie Groot each added five kills. Emani Sims was active defending the net, tallying four blocks.

The Canes took a 2-0 lead into the intermission after they secured the second set, 25-17. Leaf led the way with six kills, while Sims added two kills and three blocks. Miami’s attack was efficient, hitting .323 in the second set.

Sims powered Miami’s attack in the third set, securing five kills while hitting .625 in the set. Miami took the third set, 25-15, and secured its 13th home victory of the season.

Leaf led all Hurricanes 13 kills and 11 digs, securing her team-best 11th double-double of the season. The senior outside hitter, who hit .294 for the match, also added five blocks.

“It’s a matter of starting strong and finishing strong,” Leaf said. “We played more consistently in the second two sets and served more aggressively. Our blocking was great, too, and that helped us a lot.”

Sims finished the match with eight kills and a team-best .538 attack percentage, while leading all players with 12 blocks.

“I was trying to focus on the game and not let my emotions take over with this being my last home game,” Sims said. “I think we ended as strong as I was hoping. I am so happy that I was able to be here with these girls all season. We played so well in our home gym all year. Now we have to finish strong with these next two games on the road.”

Junior Taylor Scott and sophomore Kelsie Groot also got heavily involved in Miami’s attack, combining for 15 kills. Scott finished with seven kills, 10 digs, four blocks and two services aces, while Groot added nine kills, nine digs and three blocks.

Haley Templeton distributed 35 assists and added 10 digs and three blocks, recording her fourth double-double of the year. Fellow freshmen Sakile Simmons and Sylvia Hernandez also contributed with Simmons adding two kills and three blocks and Hernandez adding seven digs.

“At this time of the year you have to balance your recovery and continue to improve and keep your focus,” Gandara said. “With Thanksgiving coming up and it being Senior Weekend it’s easy for the girls to lose focus, but I am proud of the way they responded to the challenge. It was a great way to end the home stand and our home schedule.”

The Hurricanes finished the 2014 season with a 13-1 record at the James L. Knight Sports Complex. Following this weekend’s home stand, Miami will travel to Georgia Tech and Florida State to close out the 2014 regular season. The Canes will face the Yellow Jackets at 6 p.m. on Nov. 26 and are set to face the Seminoles at 1 p.m. on Nov. 28.

For all the latest information on Miami Hurricanes volleyball, follow the official Twitter feed, @CanesVB, or “Like Us” on Facebook at facebook.com/UMVolleyball. The program is also on Instagram.