Hurricanes volleyball splits weekend road slate

Middle Blocker Janice Leao celebrates during Miami’s 3-1 win over FAU on Aug. 28th. Photo credit: Reese Putnam

Coming off a solid start to the season with three decisive home victories, Miami Hurricanes Volleyball made their first road trip this weekend to Columbia, South Carolina, where they went 1-1 against the South Carolina Gamecocks and Troy Trojans.

The first of which, their match against South Carolina on Friday, September 1st, was a back-and-forth, tight-knit contest. However, the ‘Canes couldn’t pull out the win in the five-set competition – dropping their first match of the season.

Each set was highly contested, with the margin of victory never surpassing three. Miami started strong, winning the first set, and the two teams traded sets until they reached the fifth. It was the first time the Hurricanes went to a fifth set this season. Despite fighting back from a 5-1 and later 11-6 deficit, Miami would unfortunately be slightly short, dropping the set 15-13.

In the loss, several still shined bright; Flormarie Heredia Colon led in kills (21) and tied for the most in the match with South Carolina’s Lauren McCutcheon. Angela Grieve led all players in attacks (57), Savannah Vach led all players in assists (51), and Abby Casiano led both teams in blocks (7.0).

The team would quickly put the loss behind them and use it as motivation to beat Troy. They did that convincingly, with them sweeping the Trojans – their second of the early season.

The match saw Miami close out their sets, something they previously hadn’t against South Carolina. They shook off an early 3-0 deficit in the first set to win the first set 25-18, battled in the second set to win close 25-23, and again overcame a deficit of 17-14 to win 25-23.

Each set showcased the ability of several of the Canes, such as junior Nyah Anderson, who recorded ten kills; freshman Grace Lopez, who recorded 11 kills; and fifth-year graduate student Savanna Vach, who recorded 36 assists.

Yet among those, history was made as sophomore Flomarie Heredia Colon who set the school record for the highest attack percentage in a match at .667. This moment represents her strong start to the season, where she has amassed 50 kills.

The team, now sitting at 4-1 due to the strong play from this unit, looks forward to next weekend, where they will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, and take on the American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll top-ranked team in the Wisconsin Badgers as well as the Arizona Wildcats on Friday and Saturday respectively.