Miami volleyball (10-7, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) was emphatic in all aspects of their win against the Duke Blue Devils (10-7, 1-5 ACC) last Sunday afternoon at the Knight Sports Complex.
“We have a great group of players, and it has been a work in progress,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said in a Miami Athletics release. “We’ve continued to learn to train better and continued to improve. Today, we were good enough to get it done throughout the match.”
The Hurricanes demolished the Blue Devils 3-0, the same score as the last time the two went head-to-head. Miami won the first set, 25-17, the second, 25-22 and the third, 25-11. Throughout the match, it showed a lethal combination of power and precision on offense while digging under almost every ball on defense.
“We were able to be more consistent with [playing well] today,” Gandara said.
Miami had some trouble with consistency in their previous match against rival Florida State, where inconsistent play allowed the Seminoles to come back in multiple sets and ultimately win the game in five sets.
In this game, however, Miami was able to hold on to its leads. There was one exception in the second set, where UM allowed a comfortable lead to slip away to have the set tied at 22-22. Three straight points from the Hurricanes sealed the set.
After starring at FSU with a team-high 25 kills in the five sets, redshirt junior Angela Grieve retained her kill ratio today with 15 kills in the three sets. Grieve was also involved in the match-clinching point of the night, where she and hitter Abby Casiano blocked a Duke kill attempt. Casiano led the Hurricanes with four blocks.
The outside hitters of Grieve, Casiano, freshman Flormarie Heredia Colon, sophomore Peyman Yardimci and senior Janice Leao had a field day of kills. They accounted for all 45 of Miami’s kills and had a.382 hitting percentage. Yardimci had the highest hitting percentage of the group, at.615 percent.
Senior setter Savannah Vach, who was recognized as a first-team All-ACC selection last season, had 35 of Miami’s 41 assists and had the most of any player in the match. Vach leads the ACC in assists with 678. The next-highest tally is Clemson’s McKenna Slavik’s 600.
Miami will next face a difficult matchup against Pittsburgh, which is the No. 9 team nationally according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Coaches Poll. The game will take place on Friday at the Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh, with play scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.