Hurricanes Storm Past Rival Florida State, 3-1
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team capped off its three-game homestand with a 3-1 win over in-state rival Florida State on Wednesday night inside the Knight Sports Complex.
In extra volleyball, FSU (10-4, 3-2 ACC) took the opening set, 27-25. Hurricanes (13-2. 4-1 ACC) evened the match at a set apiece with the 25-21 set two victory. UM went on to win the next two sets, 25-22 and 25-11.
This marks the third-consecutive match that the first set has gone to extra volleyball, Miami 29-27 against North Carolina and 32-30 Miami over NC State.
For the fourth-straight match and eighth time this season, Miami posted double-digit blocks with 12. The Canes posted a season-highs with 85 digs and 57 assists in the win.
“FSU is really good,” said Miami volleyball head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara. “It seems like they’re a factory of good middle blockers. Emma [Clothier] and Khori [Louis] are both excellent, and both going to be headaches for at least a few more years. I thought our plan was really good. I have to give a special shout-out to assistant coach Jill [Hadder]. She’s been outstanding in prepping our defense. We’re doing an excellent job stopping teams, and she’s in charge of that phase. I’m glad she’s invested five years of her career here – we’re so much better for it.”
Aristea Tontai continued her hot hitting, tallying an attacking percentage of .538 with 14 kills on 26 attacks and no errors. She added seven blocks in the win.
“That’s two matches in a row that Aristea has been excellent,” added Gandara. “The impact she’s had here in just a few months has been entirely positive. It’s really rewarding to see her reap the benefits of her effort and maturity in training. She’s having a career year, and I’m selfishly really glad it’s here with us.”
Savannah Vach notched her team-leading sixth double-double of the year with a season-bests of 51 assists and 19 digs.
Three other Hurricanes – Peyman Yardimci, Angela Grieve, and Janice Leao – contributed double-digit kills on the night. Yardimci posted 13 kills, while Grieve and Leao each had 12. The trio of attackers totaled 10 blocks.
Priscilla Hernandez led the way for both teams with a match- and career-high 29 digs.
The middles were firing early for Miami, scoring four of the team’s first five points between Tontai and Leao to even the score at 5-5. A 4-0 FSU run was snapped with Vach’s first kill of the night to trim the Seminoles’ lead to three, 9-6. At the media timeout, Florida State held a 15-8 advantage. It was the Hurricanes coming out of the break on fire, going on a 6-1 run to cut the FSU lead to two, 16-14. The Seminoles closed the set on a 4-1 run to go up 1-0 in the match.
FSU took an early 6-2 lead which was answered with a 3-0 Canes run that included a Yardimci kill and ace to draw within one, 6-5. After falling behind 12-7 in the second set, the Hurricanes surged in front with an 12-1 run to jump in front with a six-point lead, 19-13. A late push from the Seminoles cut their deficit to two, 22-20, but Miami closed the set on a 3-1 run and secured the 25-21 set win with back-to-back kills from Grieve and Tontai.
It was all Miami in sets three and four. The Canes continued their hot play to open the third set with a 6-1 run. They did not look back as they went on for the 25-22 set win while hitting .263 in the set. In the fourth set, it was a commanding performance for UM, hitting .325 as it cruised to the 25-11 set clinching win.
The Hurricanes will close out their stretch of four games in eight days on the road in Durham, N.C., against Duke at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night.