Miami dominates FIU to conclude Canes Classic

Miami middle blocker Abby Casaino spikes the ball against FIU during a game at the Knight Sports Complex on Aug. 26, 2023. Photo credit: Alexandra Fisher

Two cross-town rivals faced off in the Canes Classic on the opening weekend of the NCAA women’s volleyball season.

On Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes (2-0) hosted Florida Internal University (FIU) at the James L. Knight Sports Complex. After a decisive 3-1 victory against Maryland, Miami did not hold back on the Panthers (1-2), as the ‘Canes completely battered them in a 3-0 victory.

Peyman Yardimci led an impressive performance with fourteen kills and three digs as an outside hitter. Her outstanding power defined her hits, which typically went across the court, leaving the FIU defense dumbfounded at times, reaching for blocks and diving for digs.

Setter Savannah Vach also had a noteworthy performance. She was able to tally as many digs as the libero on the opposite team had. Her versatility and athleticism were on full display, as she was able to generate second touches and feed her hitters with nice sets.

Despite not playing most of the last set, Angela Grieve’s hits were effective, as almost every ball that came her way resulted in a kill. Her strong hits generated a sense of fear that could be felt even among the crowd. The outside hitter provided a strong helping hand in Miami’s dominance this Saturday.

After finding themselves trailing for most of the first set, the Hurricanes came back from a 24-20 deficit by scoring six consecutive points. The ‘Canes took the first set in come-back fashion with the help of Yardimci’s impressive blocks, Milana Moisio’s set-leading six digs and Vach’s beautifully placed sets. Grieve also played a vital role, as she led the set with four kills.

Moisio closed the second set with an ace. Grieve and Yardimci both added four kills to their tally in this set, where the ‘Canes dominated the Panthers with a 25-17 victory. Miami’s run would have been nothing without Vach, who highlighted her skills by making remarkable assists to her front row’s dominant core. Colon also had great involvement in the Hurricane’s success in the second set, where she led the team to an early 4-1 lead with the help of a couple of aces.

As if they lost all their mojo from the first set, the third set was not any better for the Panthers. Miami won the last set, 25-14, to finalize the sweep. UM’s next game will be at home on Aug. 28 against local rival Florida Atlantic.