Road Battle Begins

by Ashleigh Young

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It’ll be a weekend of firsts for both teams this weekend at the LJVM Coliseum.

The Miami volleyball team hits the road for the first time during the 2020 season to face Wake Forest during the second weekend of competition.

The Canes opened the season splitting the two-match series against the 2019 NIVC defending champions Georgia Tech. Career highs and conference honors were deserved, but now the Demon Deacons know a thing or two coming for them.

Wake Forest opens its season with the Canes at home on Oct. 2 at noon. Elizaveta Lukianova earned her first ACC weekly honor being named the ACC Co-Player of the Week for recording 51 kills, a career highs in kills (28) and digs (8) in the second match against the Yellow Jackets. The 28 kills is currently the most kills in a match in the NCAA this season.

Sophomore setter Savannah Vach believes the connection between her and Lukianova is the best it’s been to date. The pair are constantly working together in practice to see what will help the other and it proved to work last weekend.

Along with Lukianova’s big weekend, Vach also boasted a career high with 59 assists in a single match, which ranks tied for ninth in Miami history. Vach enters the weekend ranked second in the conference with 11.5 assists per set.

With two matches under their belt, Vach believes the advantage could go either way for the two teams with Miami having two matches played, while Wake Forest awaits its first opportunity to play.

“They know stuff about us and we know nothing about them, but at the same time, all of the players who didn’t get to play last year already have experience this year,” Vach said. “They won’t be nervous anymore and we can all just play our game [the way] we know we can.”

But for the Canes, it’s a perk that Angela Grieve thinks will favor the Canes.

“There is an advantage to both teams, but it’s good for us because we’re already in our groove and know each other really well on the court,” Grieve said.

The redshirt freshman competed in her first match as a Cane last weekend after missing her opening season due to a foot injury. Her energy was felt by everyone on the court, but it was also her ability to stay calm under pressure that impressed her setter.

“Angie is super feisty and is a very fierce competitor and I love playing with her,” Vach said. “She brings a lot of energy, but at the same time, she’s a very level-headed person and nothing affects her. If anything goes wrong, she’s always ready for the next play and I love playing with people like that.”

Miami leads the all-time series, 20-6, and won the last meeting with a 3-0 road sweep. It’s something Vach is looking forward to doing again.

“We all love traveling, but the best thing is being able to go into someone else’s gym and beat them on their court,” Vach said.