VB Claims 3-1 Victory Over Maryland To Open 2023 Season

VB Claims 3-1 Victory Over Maryland To Open 2023 Season

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team kicked off its 2023 season Friday, notching a 3-1 win over Maryland at the James L. Knight Sports Complex in the Canes Classic.

Miami (1-0) dominated the first set of the year and followed it up with competitive sets for the remainder of the match.

“It’s always nice to start the season with a W and it’s even better at home in front of our fans,” said head coach Jose Keno Gandara. “Our players were obviously super excited for the first match at home and I thought we played hard and maintained good composure.”

The Hurricanes closed out the first match of the season with a 60-51 edge in kills, while outhitting Maryland, .374 to .262. Yardimci led the Hurricanes in kills with 14, while Heredia Colon and Grieve followed right behind with 13. 

Leao paced the match in hitting percentage (.647) and blocks (5.0), with Grieve accompanying her on the leaderboard with 15 digs and Savannah Vach doing so with 35 assists.

“Offensively, I thought Savannah Vach did a nice job running a balanced offense and we ended the match with several players earning over 10 kills,” said Gandara.

The Hurricanes opened the match strong with a 25-13 victory in the first set. Sophomore Flormarie Heredia Colon, junior Peyman Yardimci and redshirt-senior Angela Grieve helped push the lead over the Terrapins to 22-12 four straight kills. Reigning All-ACC First Team honoree, graduate student Janice Leao claimed the final point of the set with a kill. The team recorded 17 kills with a .773 hitting percentage to put them over the top.

The second set saw constant back-and-forth action, yet Miami gained a 14-9 lead over the Big 10 foe after Yardimci tallied a smackdown. The Hurricanes were ultimately led to a set victory by another stellar play from Yardimci to notch the 25-22 win. 

Maryland bounced back to open the third set with a 6-2 lead. The Hurricanes came alive to cut the deficit to one, 19-18 after a kill from Heredia Colon, followed by Grieve who tied the match at 19-all with an ace. The Terps claimed the third set, 25-23, despite Miami’s strong efforts to climb back.

The two teams traded points throughout the fourth set until the Canes earned a 19-15 lead after back-to-back aces from sophomore Milana Moisio and consecutive kills from Yardimci and graduate student Abby Casiano. The team’s .457 attack percentage led them to sealing the set and grabbing their first win of the season.

“Defensively, we had good segments, but we need to be more consistent. Maryland presented some good challenges and we learned a lot about our team. We need to keep building in this and tomorrow is the next opportunity,” said Gandara.

The Hurricanes continue play in the Canes Classic Saturday at 6 p.m. when they face FIU (1-1).