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@CanesVB Falls at No. 8 Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team dropped its regular season finale at No. 8 Florida State, 3-0.

“I think there is a lot we can learn from this match,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t play well in this kind of match, but I like how the girls came into the match. We just have to get back to the drawing board and get back to work.”

The Hurricanes and Seminoles battled back and forth in a tight opening set. Miami and Florida State traded points for much of the set, before FSU pulled away late to take the set 25-21. A trio of Canes recorded five kills in the set as Emani Sims, Savanah Leaf and Taylor Scott each were active in the Miami attack. Scott was highly effective; hitting .833 for the set, while Sims hit .375 and Leaf posted a .333 attack percentage.

Miami and Florida State had another see-saw battle in the second set, with both teams playing tight for much of the set. The Noles found some separation, taking a three-point lead 18-15. But Miami charged back to cut that lead to one, 18-17, and force an FSU timeout. The teams tied at 22 before Florida State won the final three points to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.

The Seminoles closed the three-set victory with a 25-18 win in the final set. Leaf and Scott led Miami with four kills each in the third set, while Kelsie Groot added three kills.

“Our serving needs to be one of our identities,” Gandara said. “Today we missed too many serves. We need to be bale to do that in all kinds of environments. When you play a close match, you’re not going to get many opportunities. We’ve got to learn to stay focused and take advantage of those chances when they come.”

Leaf and Scott each finished with double-digit kills Friday. Leaf, who hit a team-best .364, led Miami with 16 kills, while Scott added 13 kills and hit .333 against Florida State. Sims was also an efficient and effective hitter, recording eight kills and hitting .357 for the match.

Groot led Miami with eight digs, adding seven kills and two blocks that tied with Scott and Sakile Simmons for the team lead.

Freshman setter Haley Templeton dished out 39 assists, adding five digs and a kill, while freshman defensive specialist Sylvia Hernandez had four digs and three assists.

The Hurricanes close out the regular season 21-8 and compiled a 14-4 record in the ACC. The 21 wins are the most in a single-season under head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara. Miami also achieved its first 20-win season under Gandara.

“They’re a good team and they’re not going to give you much,” Gandara said. “They were prepared and did a nice job. They’re well coached and athletic. We have to use that as a measuring stick and be ready to play good teams well. We have to be ready to play against good teams in the tournament, if we get a chance to go.”

With the regular season coming to an end, the Canes and Division I volleyball teams across the country will be tuned into the NCAA Volleyball Selection Show on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU to find out the field for the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament.

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.