Rivalry Week in Coral Gables
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A stretch of three games in six days that started with a 2-0 weekend, ends with a midweek rivalry matchup on Wednesday for the University of Miami volleyball team.
The Hurricanes, who are off to their best 14-game start since 2011, are coming off a thrilling five-set win against North Carolina and a sweep over NC State last weekend as they head into their contest against in-state foe Florida State
“One of the coolest parts about college sports is the rivalries that span across different sports and different eras,” said Miami volleyball head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara. “Miami and Florida State is one of the very best of those collegiate rivalries. Chris [Poole] is an excellent coach and always has Florida State ready to go. It’s like clockwork. So, to play this match on short rest on television, what a treat. We can’t wait.”
Despite a strong start to the season and ACC play, the Canes know they still have room to improve even with their 12 wins, with 10 coming by sweep.
“We’re a work in progress,” Gandara added. “There are things we aren’t doing well enough right now – sometimes not even close. We aren’t killing the ball enough. We can receive serve better. I thought our serving dropped off a bit last weekend. But the positive to all of that is that we’re 12-2 and can still point to lots of stuff where we have room to grow. That speaks to the high standards the girls have for us.”
After playing two matches over the weekend, it will be just a two-day turnaround between the last match on Sunday and Wednesday’s 8 p.m. contest in the Knight Sports Complex as the Canes look to refuel heading in.
“If you try to value everything, you don’t really value anything,” Gandara said. “So that list of things you value should be small. What are the two or three things that we’re going to care about indiscriminately and allow to shape our behaviors? One of those things for us is not being fragile. Whether you call it toughness or resilience or whatever, it just means that challenge is a fuel that we welcome.”
“We circled this stretch back in the summer as a perfect time to express that cultural value. We had a tough five-setter on Friday and we’re able to gut out a tough win over a very good UNC team, and turned around to sweep a good NC State team less than 48 hours later. We haven’t had an off day in a while. We’re a little banged up. For us, all of that is just a great chance for us to not be fragile. For the additional challenge to increase our performance, not decrease it. S0 personally, I’m all for that quick turnaround.”
To keep up with the University of Miami volleyball team on social media, follow @CanesVB on Twitter and Facebook, as well as Canes_VB on Instagram.