Canes Sweep Wake Forest in Opening ACC Match
By: Ashleigh Young
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Miami volleyball program made history on Friday night after sweeping Wake Forest in the opening ACC match of the 2019 season.
With Miami’s fifth win of the season, head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara moved into second place on Miami’s all-time wins list with 117. In just seven seasons, Gandara has a .626 win percentage and sits 126 behind Nicole Lantagne Welch in first.
“This is why we train and compete and hopefully we go out there and compete well and win,” Gandara said. “I’m excited about it and now we’re just trying to reach the next level. It’s an honor to be here though.”
Miami has now defeated Wake Forest (10-2, 0-1 ACC) in the opening conference match of the season in back-to-back seasons. The Hurricanes improved to 5-4, 1-0 ACC, including three-straight road wins.
The opening set went all the Canes way, hitting a .318, tallying nine kills and six blocks. Freshman Kennedy Prince and junior Janet Kalaniuvalu both posted three kills to lead the Canes in the first set. Miami broke out to a 13-8 lead after a six-point scoring run. Junior Madison Dill registered two of her career-high four kills in the first set to help the Canes take the 1-0 lead with a 25-17 set win.
For the third-straight match, Miami took the 2-0 lead after tallying a match-high 19 kills. Prince continued to dominate on offense notching five more kills, while Elizaveta Lukianova picked up five of her 10 kills. The Canes hit a match-high .389 in the 25-21 second set win.
Miami secured the win, earning its second sweep of the season after holding the Deacons to a negative attack percentage. Entering Friday’s match, Wake Forest held the second-best attack percentage in the conference, but the Canes held them to their lowest percentage of the season at .095. Dill and Lukianova tallied eight of the Canes 13 kills to take the final set, 25-21.
“I’m just proud of the girls because they were pretty consistent throughout the night,” Gandara said. “It for sure wasn’t our best game, but we hung on well enough to win and we have to hang on to that and get ready for Duke.”
Prince, Kalaniuvalu and Lukianova all boasted 10 kills in the match, while Savannach Vach had 25 assists, totaling 327 on the season.
“Credit to Savannah,” Gandara said. “I think Kasey [Crider] and the setters had a good game plan going into tonight and were able to get better on distributing the ball. We want to keep the distribution even and I think we did that tonight.”