Weekend recap: Miami volleyball dominates in pair of sweeps

Senior Janice Leao hitting the ball over the net during Miami's game against Wake Forest on Friday, Oct. 21 at the Knight Sports Complex. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

As sophomore Nyah Anderson delivered a well-placed kill to a gaping hole in Wake Forest’s defense, teammates began to rush the court in celebration. The ‘Canes completed a 3-0 defeat of a team that was as evenly matched as possible on paper.

Both Wake Forest and Miami entered the day with nearly identical records, but the Hurricanes had the clear edge once the match began.

To begin the first set, Miami got off to a blistering start. With an almost full house supporting the ‘Canes, they soared to a 5-1 lead. From there, the pace steadied with UM as it maintained a consistent edge.

The synergy between senior Savannah Vach and redshirt junior Angela Grieve was evident as they linked up for kill after kill. The lead expanded to 10 points (20-10), and the ‘Canes finished on a high note with Anderson delivering the first ball kill.

The second set was much tighter, as Wake Forest did not want to fall into a deeper hole. Miami again claimed an early lead, but at 13-14, the Demon Deacons grabbed four straight points to get their first lead of the day, 16-14.

From there, the two teams would remain within a point of each other until Miami bounced ahead, 22-21. This time, senior Janice Leao delivered the final blow with another first-ball kill.

Two sets up and with their confidence overflowing, the Hurricanes did not let the Demon Deacons lead again. They stormed out to a 10-3 lead and never looked back.

Anderson finished yet another set out at 25-20 to give the ‘Canes their third straight victory at home. The win also puts them above .500 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).]

Miami (13-8, 6-4 ACC) also beat Virginia Tech, 3-0, in a sweep on Sunday afternoon at the Knight Sports Complex.

The Hurricanes dominated in one of their best games of the season as the team hit a season-best .425. Contribution from the whole team led to the all-around team win.

Miami started the game hot, leading the first set, 11-5. After a struggling first set from the Hokies and an inability to keep it close, UM won, 25-14.

The second set was also dominated by Miami. The Hurricanes started off the set with an 8-2 lead and never looked back. Virginia Tech failed to keep the score close, and UM closed out the second set, 25-16.

As the Hokies hung on by a thread in the third set, they grabbed a 13-11 lead early. The Hurricanes fought back and closed out the set, 25-20, giving them their 13th win of the season.

Miami’s key to this victory was how they started in each set. UM set itself up in a good position throughout each set as it quickly jumped out to leads.

Grieve continued her successful season, notching a game-high 10 kills. Sophomore Peyman Yardimci had one of her best games of the season, accumulating nine kills.

Facilitator Savannah Vach set her teammates up all night long. She led the game in assists with 31.

Help from younger players, including redshirt freshman Ava Francis and sophomore Elayna Duprey, made the Hurricanes too dominant offensively for Virginia Tech to contain.

Defensively, the Hurricanes held the Hokies to 31 kills.

Next, Miami will travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to battle against ACC opponent Boston College on Oct. 28. The first serve is set for 7 p.m.

Carter Lutz also contributed to this story.