Volleyball Sweeps VT For Fourth-Straight Win
The University of Miami volleyball team closed out the weekend with a convincing 3-0 win at Virginia Tech in the Cassell Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Just like Friday night, the Hurricanes (19-5, 13-5 ACC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the intermission, but this time they saved the best for last. Miami dominated the Hokies (9-20, 3-15 ACC) in the final frame for the 25-19, 25-22, 25-14 sweep. With the victory, Miami earned its fourth season sweep over Virginia Tech, just like it did against Virginia Friday. For the second time this season, the Canes have a four-match winning streak.
Once again the Canes demonstrated offensive balance and depth, with five Hurricanes recording at least five kills on Sunday. These included senior outside hitter Olga Strantzali (team-high 10 kills), redshirt freshman outside hitter Elizaveta Lukianova (eight kills), sophomore middle blocker Madison Dill (seven kills), junior middle blocker Lucia Pampana (five kills) and junior outside hitter Kolby Bird (five kills). Ester Talamazzi led the Hokies with a match-high 11 kills.
Strantzali has finished with double-figure kills in all of Miami’s 24 matches this season. Dill hit a team-best .455. Redshirt junior setter Haley Templeton aided the offense with a match-high 31 assists, while also picking up four kills on a .444 hitting percentage. She also recorded career-high eight service aces.
Senior libero Sylvia Hernandez led the Hurricanes with 11 digs. Carol Rafferty led the Hokies with nine digs, while the Hokies had 38 digs to Miami’s 31.
???????Lukianova and Dill teamed up for three blocks in Blacksburg, while Pampana picked up the Hurricanes’ only solo block as the Canes doubled up their opponent in a low-blocking contest, 4-2.
Despite a closely contested start of the match, serving sequences by Miami’s setters Templeton and sophomore Hannah Sorensen helped the Hurricanes orchestrate a 10-2 run on their way to a 25-19 triumph in the opening frame. The Canes picked up 15 opening-set kills while committing only four errors.
The Hurricanes took the second set – which featured 11 tied scores – 25-22 with the help of a 5-2 run at the very end of it. Virginia Tech came within one at 23-22 through back-to-back kills from Jaila Tolbert and Talamazzi. But following the Hurricanes timeout, Strantzali and Lukianova did the same to prevent further drama in the set. The close fight of the set could be judged by the team’s hitting percentages – .235 for Miami and .219 for Virginia Tech. Strantzali went into the locker room with eight kills for Miami, helped by 22 Templeton assists through the first two sets.
The Canes completed the sweep in the third set despite winning only one of the final six points. Four aces on the same serving sequence by Templeton gave the Hurricanes their largest lead and first match point at 24-9. A kill by Talamazzi inspired the Hokies to a late 5-0 run that forced a Miami timeout, but their back row finally gave in as Templeton set up Strantzali for her final kill of the day to clinch the match.
After a short turnaround, Miami will play its final two matches of the regular season in the next five days, visiting Georgia Tech on Wednesday and Clemson on Friday. The NCAA Championship selection show is set for 9 p.m. on Nov 26.
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