Volleyball Sweeps Wake Forest and N.C. Road Trip
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The University of Miami volleyball team demonstrated skill on both sides of the ball Sunday, sweeping Wake Forest on the road for its second straight victory.
The Hurricanes (11-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) persevered through an extra-point second set and were beyond clinical in the other two to shut out the Demon Deacons (10-10, 2-6 ACC) in their own LJVM Coliseum, 25-18, 28-26, 25-13.
Senior outside hitter Olga Strantzali (12 kills) and junior outside hitter Kolby Bird (11 kills) finished the match in doubles figure offensively, but the victory was a team effort as a whole, with six Canes contributing at least four kills on the day for a .351 attacking display. Kylie Long was the offensive highlight for Wake Forest, tying Strantzali for the match-high feat of 12 kills. Miami limited the Demon Deacons to .104 hitting.
Redshirt junior Haley Templeton secured her sixth double-double of the season by adding 10 digs to her match-high-tying 31 assists. Strantzali picked up her fifth double-double with team-high 11 digs. Wake Forest’s Caroline Wolf was the only Demon Deacon in double figures defensively, posting match-high 13 digs.
The Canes outblocked Wake Forest 9-4 – the largest margin in ACC play – thanks to match-high seven blocks from senior middle blocker Sakile Simmons and four from senior outside hitter Brooke McDermott.
Senior libero Sylvia Hernandez had team-high two of Miami’s five service aces, the latter of which gave the Canes the victory.
Miami carried the attacking momentum from the win at Duke into Sunday’s match and had four players with at least two kills in the opening set against the Demon Deacons. The Hurricanes got off to a 14-2 start and hit .417 to take the lead, despite a late 7-3 run by the Deacs.
The second set was as close as the final scoreline indicated and went into extra ponts, even though Miami led 22-19 late on. A run by the home team had the Canes facing a set point at 25-24 Wake Forest, but clutch plays from Strantzali and Bird settled the set in Miami’s favor. The junior put an exclamation point to it with a solo block against Wake Forest’s Caitlyn Della for the set-winning point, 28-26.
The final set progressed very similarly as the first one, with the exception that the Canes did not let their foot off the gas.The final set progressed very similarly as the first one, with the exception that the Canes did not let their foot off the gas. Miami was equally strong from the front and back rows, at the net and from the service line to accumulate an 11-point lead after consecutive Strantzali kills, 20-9. This time, Wake Forest could not make much of a push before Hernandez sealed Miami’s win with her 12th ace of the season.
Next week, the Canes begin their five-match home streak by hosting Louisville and Notre Dame in the James L. Knight Sports Complex on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
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