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@CanesVB Falls to UNC in Four Sets

@CanesVB Falls to UNC in Four Sets

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team dropped an exciting match to No. 12 North Carolina on Friday night.

The Hurricanes (11-14, 5-8 ACC) battled the Tar Heels (20-3, 12-1 ACC) on their home floor, but came up short, 3-1. While Miami saw its three-match winning streak snap, head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara saw a lot of fight and improvement from his Canes team.

“The numbers show that we are getting better and we made them play better, so we know that we are improving,” Gandara said. “Winning a game after losing the first two against a team that was under control gave us a lot of confidence and I think it showed most of the fourth game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t close it out.”

Miami fell into a hole early, dropping the first two sets, 25-18 and 25-16, to head into the intermission down two sets to none. But a resilient Hurricanes squad won a tight third set, 25-23, and was leading in the fourth set, 22-15, before UNC won 11 of the next 13 points to close out the match with a 26-24 win in the fourth set.

“I thought we played pretty well, at times, in Games 1 and 2, but we were playing a team that doesn’t give you many breaks,” Gandara said. “We started serving better and got a better sense of their lineup. We should have had that fourth game, but they’re a good team.”

Olga Strantzali led the Canes with 24 kills on a .352 attack percentage. The junior outside hitter also had 10 digs and a block to record her ninth double-double of the season.

“The team is getting better, so I am getting better,” Strantzali said. “The other teams are focusing on other players, too, so it makes it a little easier for me. I have kept working hard and things will only get better. I am excited for the future.”

Outside hitter Anna Haak recorded her sixth double-double of the season, finishing with 13 kills, 14 digs, two blocks and an assist. Kolby Bird had three kills, a block and a dig while playing opposite for the Canes.

Lucia Pampana led a trio of middle blockers for Miami, recording eight kills and two blocks. Madison Dill tied a career high with five kills, added a team-best three blocks and recorded the first two service aces of her career. Sakile Simmons also saw action in the middle for the Canes.

Hannah Sorensen dished out 45 assists and added 10 digs to register her fifth double-double of the season. Miami libero Sylvia Hernandez had 11 digs, three asissts and a service ace, while defensive specialist Sara Duque had five digs and an assist.

The Hurricanes also used Codi Lee and Carly Davey in reserve, with Lee recording two digs.

Friday’s match also marked the beginning on Volleyball Alumni Weekend. Hurricanes from as far back as the 1974 season returned to Coral Gables for Friday night’s match and were recognized at the intermission for their contributions to the program.

Miami is back in action on Sunday, when it host NC State at 1 p.m., in a match that will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra. Following this weekend’s matches, the Hurricanes hit the road for a pair of road contests in the northeast. Miami will play at Syracuse at 7 p.m., on Nov. 11 and will take on Boston College at noon on Nov. 13.

All Hurricanes volleyball home matches are played at the James L. Knight Sports Complex on the University of Miami campus. Admission is free. For a complete look at the Hurricanes’ 2016 schedule, click here.

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