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Miami Drops Four Setter to 14th-Ranked Yellow Jackets

Miami Drops Four Setter to 14th-Ranked Yellow Jackets

ATLANTA, Ga. – In front of a sold-out crowd, the University of Miami volleyball team fell, 3-1, to No. 14 Georgia Tech on Friday night inside O’Keefe Gymnasium.

The Yellow Jackets (20-3, 11-2 ACC) took a 2-0 match lead after winning the first two sets with scores of 25-18 and 25-22. The Hurricanes (19-4, 10-3 ACC) battled in a marathon of a third set, 32-30, to stay alive and force a fourth frame. It was ultimately Georgia Tech walking away victorious after winning 25-19 in the fourth set.

“I’m actually pretty pleased with how we played for long stretches of tonight’s match,” said head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara. Obviously disappointed in the result, but I think we did some stuff that we can be proud of and build on.

“It really is a monumental task trying to manage Mariana [Brambilla] and Julia [Bergmann] of Georgia Tech. They’re both special players and likely have long, prosperous professional careers ahead of them. Congrats to their seniors and I’d imagine they will end up having a great run through the NCAA tournament.”

For the fifth time this season, the Hurricanes had four players record double-digit kills in a match. Janet Kalaniuvalu posted a team-best mark 15 kills, while Peyman Yardimci totaled 11. Angela Grieve and Aristea Tontai each notched 10 in the loss.

It was a tightly contested first half of the opening set as Georgia Tech claimed a 15-10 lead heading into the media timeout. The Hurricanes used their first timeout after the Yellow Jackets utilized a 5-3 run, extending its lead to seven, 20-13. Miami’s deficit was cut to five, 22-17, as it took four of the next six points out of the timeout. It was a 3-1 run by Georgia Tech to close out the set with the 25-18 victory.

In an evenly matched second frame, the Hurricanes pulled in front early with a 7-4 advantage. Earning six straight points, the Yellow Jackets took the three-point lead, 10-7. After back-to-back points by Miami, making it 10-9 Georgia Tech, the teams split the next nine rallies as the Yellow Jackets remained in front, 15-13. Trailing 19-15, the Canes evened the set with a 4-0 run that included back-to-back aces from Leao. Even at 21 all late, it was Georgia Tech capping the set off with a 4-1 run and go up 2-0 in the match.

Set three saw extra volleyball in thrilling fashion as the Hurricanes battled to the 32-30 win. After splitting the first 16 points evenly, Yardimci ignited a 5-0 Miami run to go up 13-8. Hanna Bissler served up an ace, giving the Canes an 18-14 lead, leading to the second Yellow Jackets timeout to be used. Down by four, 24-20, Georgia Tech rallied off four straight points to even the set and force extra volleyball. It was Miami scratching out the 32-30 win after a Kalaniuvalu kill locked in the set.

Georgia Tech took an early lead, 4-2, before Miami followed with a 4-1 run and gain the 6-5 lead. A 3-0 run from Yellow Jackets put them back in front, 8-6, as they extended their lead to as much as seven on two separate occasions, including 20-13 late. Despite a late push by Miami, drawing to within five four separate times, Georgia Tech held on for the 25-19 win.

Next, the Hurricanes travel to face Clemson at 1 p.m. in Clemson, S.C, on Sunday.