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Canes Fall to Louisville for First Loss in 2017

LOUISVILLE. Ky. – The University of Miami volleyball team was handed its first defeat of the season Sunday, falling to Louisville in straight sets at Cardinal Arena.
The Hurricanes (9-1, 3-1 ACC) had their chances, but the Cardinals (9-5, 3-1 ACC) put on a defensive display that neutralized Miami’s offensive threats in the crucial moments of the second and third sets, ensuring themselves a 25-17, 25-22, 25-20 victory.
The defeat spoiled senior outside hitter Brooke McDermott’s career day. McDermott surpassed her previous best of six kills in less than two sets and finished tied for the team-high with 10 kills. She shared the honor with senior outside hitter Olga Strantzali and was most efficient of the team’s pin hitters with a .217 attacking display.

“I thought Louisville played well,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “We had our chances but that just wasn’t enough today. Credit to our opponent.”

Redshirt junior setter Haley Templeton picked up 27 assists and was credited with two of Miami’s three service aces, tying her season-high. The third ace came from senior libero Sylvia Hernandez, who also contributed five assists to the Hurricanes’ offensive efforts. With the feat, Hernandez has now picked up at least four assists in six straight matches.

Templeton and Strantzali led Miami with eight digs apiece, followed by Hernandez with seven.

McDermott, Templeton and middle blockers Lucia Pampana and Sakile Simmons picked up a block assist apiece on a day in which the Canes were outblocked, 15-2.

The entire first set went under Louisville’s control. The Cardinals led by as many as eight, before closing the set at 25-17. Miami’s best run of three consecutive points allowed the Hurricanes to get within four at 18-14, but Louisville matched it right away to kill the little momentum that the Canes had.
The Hurricanes had two early one-point leads in the second set – their first in the match – but Louisville won seven points in a row to accumulate a six-point cushion at 9-3. McDermott contributed points of different type to help Miami get within as few as two at 10-8 and charged to a tie at 19 on a kill by Strantzali, forcing the Cardinals into a timeout. Miami was given a chance to tie the match as an attack error by Louisville made the score 22 all, but it was the Cardinals who provided the final blow of the set, scoring three consecutive points to double their lead in the contest, 25-22.
Late-set execution haunted Miami in the third set as well. A five-point run orchestrated on Templeton’s serving sequence put the Hurricanes in the lead, 19-18, but they only managed one additional point, while Louisville scored seven to complete the sweep at 25-20. As a team, Louisville had their best attacking display in the third set, hitting .379, as opposed to Miami’s .091.  
The 20 tie scores and nine lead changes in the wild final set preceded the combined numbers for the first three sets in both categories. An ace by Ryann DeJarld brought Notre Dame within a point of forcing a fifth set like it did a year ago, but back-to-back-to-back errors by the Irish, who hit just .083 in the final set, gave Miami its first of four match points, 25-24. Nerves took toll on both attacking lines as errors were predominant late in the fourth set as both teams pushed for the triumph. The Canes had to battle two more set points before Strantzali found it within her to win back-to-back points for her team and settle the nail biter at 32-30.  
The Hurricanes, who are now 7-1 on the road this season, will have a chance to bounce back on Wednesday, when they travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for a conference matchup against in-state rival No. 21 Florida State.
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