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Miami Falls at Pittsburgh

Miami Falls at Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, Pa.  The University of Miami volleyball team fell in straight sets to eighth-ranked Pittsburgh Friday night at Fitzgerald Field House.

Miami (10-8, 3-4 ACC) went toe to toe with the Panthers in an opening set that featured 16 ties and six lead changes. Pittsburgh (17-2, 7-0 ACC) doubled its advantage in the second set before closing out the match with a narrow 25-22 victory in set three.

“I am proud of the way we competed and battled tonight,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “We were good in some areas but obviously didn’t do enough to win. Give credit to Pitt, they’re a good team. We’ll learn what we can from tonight and be ready for Virginia on Sunday.”

The Hurricanes got off to a strong start in the opening set, taking an 11-9 lead on a kill from redshirt junior outside hitter Angela Grieve, which forced Pittsburgh to use an early timeout. The two sides battled back-and-forth, as Miami maintained its advantage, 18-17, on a kill from senior middle blocker Janice Leao, who finished the set with five kills and hit 1.000.

Pittsburgh then responded with five straight points to take a 22-18 lead. Miami used a 3-0 run of its own to cut the deficit to one, 22-21. But Pittsburgh countered once again, taking three of the next four points to win set one, 25-22.

The Panthers controlled the second set, 25-18, to go up 2-0 in the match.

Miami, looking to force a fourth set, clawed all the way back from a 16-10 deficit in set three to tie the frame, 22-22. The Panthers, however, won the next three points to close out the set and the match.

Grieve totaled a match-high 13 kills and senior setter Savannah Vach finished with a match-high 28 assists. Leao logged eight kills and hit .375 while sophomore setter Alanys Viera led the Hurricanes with 12 digs

Graduate student Courtney Buzzerio posted 12 kills, three blocks, and two aces for the Panthers. Redshirt junior Valeria Vazquez Gomez notched 11 kills and 11 digs and sophomore Rachel Fairbanks paced Pittsburgh with 21 assists.

Miami completes its weekend road trip Sunday in Charlottesville, Va. at 1 p.m., when it takes on Virginia at Memorial Gymnasium.

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.