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Leao Posts Career High in Blocks in 3-1 Loss at UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Freshman Janice Leao boasted eight blocks, which ranks tied for fifth in program history, in the Miami volleyball program’s 3-1 loss against North Carolina on Friday night.
 
The eight blocks is a career-high for the New Bedford, Mass., native, helping the Canes produce a total of 13 team blocks.
 
North Carolina controlled the net in the first set, registering a total of 10 team blocks led by middle blocker Skyy Howard with seven block assists. The home team jumped out to an early 10-2 lead and didn’t let off. UNC held the Canes to just seven kills in the first with both freshman Kennedy Prince and junior Janet Kalaniuvalu each registering two. Miami notched four team blocks with freshman Janice Leao totaling three, but the Canes dropped the set, 25-14.
 
Miami showed resilience in the second, taking its first lead of the match after freshman Savannah Vach recorded her 10th ace of the season to make it a 17-16 advantage. Kalaniuvalu boasted a team-high five kills and Prince added Miami’s 75th ace of the year to help the Canes tie the match at one. The Canes held UNC to just 4.5 team block and a .136 attack percentage.
 
North Carolina’s offense notched a set-high 14 kills and a staggering .400 attack percentage to take the 2-1 advantage. Miami strung together nine kills and three blocks but the Tar Heels’ offense was too much to overcome as the host side took eight of the final 10 points of the set.
 
In the closest set of the match, which featured 14 tied scores and seven separate lead changes, Miami fought until the end. After being tied at 22, North Carolina scored three of the final four points to take the match, 25-23.
 
Kalaniuvalu finished the match with a team-leading 13 kills, while Vach led the Canes with 35 assists. Vach has now led the Canes in assists in all but one match this season, a match she didn’t play. Friday night’s match is the first road conference loss for the Canes this season.
 
Miami travels to Raleigh on Sunday to face NC State at 1 p.m.