Canes Volleyball Victorious Over Virginia
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami volleyball improved to 4-0 in five-set matches in the 2019 season on Sunday, defeating Virginia, 3-2.
The Canes (7-4, 3-1 ACC) won its first ACC home match of the season led by Janet Kalaniuvalu’s 15 kills, three blocks, two aces and two digs. Miami boasted 11 team blocks, holding Virginia (9-9, 1-3 ACC) to a .187 attack percentage.
“I thought we played really well at times and the girls did a really good job with the game preparation,” said head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara. “We played OK Friday and practiced well yesterday, but we have to give credit to Virginia for pressuring us and it took us a while to respond and I’m happy we played well enough to win today.”
Everything was going the Canes’ way in the first set, registering 15 kills of 27 attempts and hitting a staggering .407. Kalaniuvalu got started early, tallying five kills and one ace. Miami’s defense was hard to beat with six different Canes recording a dig and three team blocks. Miami took the 1-0 lead, winning the set, 25-18.
Virginia tied the match at one, taking the second set, 25-20. Miami held off four set points, but Sarah Billiard’s sixth kill was too much for the Canes to come back from.
Kennedy Prince and Kalaniuvalu each registered four kills in the third, helping the Canes retake the lead with a 25-21 set win. Prince hit .500 in the third and finished the match with 12 kills and nine digs, one dig shy from her fifth double-double of the season. Miami took the 2-1 lead on a six-point run to end the set.
There was no stopping the Cavaliers in the fourth, as Virginia registered 14 kills and jumped out to an early 7-1 lead. Again, the Canes wouldn’t give up easy, as Miami staved off six set points. Ultimately, the Cavaliers would force the fifth set after an attack error by Prince. Virginia tied the match at two with a 25-21 set win.
Redshirt junior Madison Dill tallied four of her season-high tying 11 kills in the fifth to help the Canes win its fourth five-set match this season. Miami took the final three points of the match to win the game, 15-11.
“We managed to cut back our errors in game five, which continues to be critical in a shortened match,” Gandara said. “It’s stuff that we know how to do and continue to do it in the fifth set and it’s something we need to continue to hold on to as the season goes on.”
Miami returns to North Carolina next week to face NC State on Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. and North Carolina on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.