After a decisive 3-0 victory over Arizona last Saturday, Miami was set to host the 305 Challenge this weekend consisting, of Indiana, Stetson and Jacksonville.
The first contest of the challenge for Miami saw the ‘Canes lose a 3-2 heartbreaker against Indiana. Miami was in control throughout most of the first set; however, Indiana ended the set on a 4-0 run, defeating the Hurricanes by a score of 25-22.
The Canes turned it around in the second set and pulled away, led by a set-high of eight kills by redshirt senior Angela Grieve. After pulling ahead, Miami managed to stay in front, capping off the set with a kill by graduate student Abby Casiano to win 25-23.
Similarly to the first and second sets, Indiana (10-3) and Miami traded the third and fourth. In the pivotal fifth set, Indiana took control early and sprung out to an 8-4 lead. The ‘Canes showed a lot of resilience by battling back to even the set at 10 behind good play from Grieve, fifth-year Savannah Vach, freshman Grace Lopez and sophomore Naylani Feliciano.
Indiana pulled away by winning the set 15-12 and taking the match 3-2.
The second match was much more in favor of Miami, as the ‘Canes swept Stetson (5-7), 3-0. The first set was a nail-biter, as UM prevailed by a score of 28-26. Grieve, Lopez and junior Nyah Anderson all had big sets offensively, and three service aces by Vach set the tone for the rest of the match.
In the second set, Miami was much more dominant and got out to an early lead through strong defense by sophomores Cianna Tejada and Milana Moisio, as well as Grieve, who dove out in full extension to keep the ball alive, leading to a point for the Canes.
Miami used this defensive momentum and strong offensive sets from Tejada and Grieve to win the set, 25-20.
The third set got off to a bit of a rough start as Miami trailed until the score was 19-18 following a Grieve service ace. Following that point, it was smooth sailing for the Hurricanes, as they finished out the match with kills by Anderson, Grieve and junior Peyman Yardimci to win the third set, 25-21.
The third and final match of the 305 Challenge resulted in another commanding 3-0 win for the Hurricanes over Jacksonville (3-9), but the result was overshadowed by an injury. Anderson went down after landing awkwardly early in the first set. She was carried off in a stretcher and taken immediately to the hospital with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.
Following the halt in play, the ‘Canes came out firing for their teammate. Anderson’s replacement, sophomore Flormarie Heredia Colon, logged three kills and provided a spark offensively, leading Miami to a 25-21 victory in the first set.
The second set started poorly for Miami, as its offense was sputtering lacking Anderson, but the ‘Canes showed resilience, battling back with the help of three kills on the last four points from Lopez.
To finish off a solid tournament, the Hurricanes (7-3) were dominant in the last set, winning 25-18. Match leaders included Grieve with 13 kills, Grieve and Lopez with three aces each, a trio of defenders with two blocks, Vach with 34 assists and Grieve with eight digs.
Next up, Miami will head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (9-2) this Friday at 7 p.m. in UM’s first match of conference play.