Miami volleyball splits first two ACC matches of the year

Miami volleyball team celebrates after their 3-1 victory Sunday against the Virginia Tech Hokies. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

Miami entered the weekend with a 7-3 record as they kicked off conference play on the road. The Hurricanes went 1-1 on their road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Friday, followed by a 3-1 win against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Sunday.

The stars of the two matches for the ‘Canes were freshman Grace Lopez and sophomore Flormarie Heredia Colon. Despite the loss, Lopez, just a freshman, notched a career-high 22 kills against Wake Forest. She tallied 14 kills just two days later in the win over the Hokies. Heredia Colon scored double-digit kills in both matches, earning 11 on Friday and 19 on Sunday, respectively. Setter Savannah Vach set her teammates up for success in both competitions, having 50 and 49 assists in the respective matches.

In their loss to the Demon Deacons, Miami took the first set by a score of 25-21 but could not continue that momentum for the rest of the match as the Hurricanes dropped the following three sets and the game. However, the final three sets were tough fought as Miami lost the second and third sets by two and the last by five.

The attacking prowess of Paige Crawford, Ava Carney, and Emmy Ogogor was the primary catalyst to Miami’s defeat. The trio had 17, 15, and 10 kills, respectively, while having two serve aces a piece.

If not for a handful of errors on the Miami side, the ‘Canes could have pulled off the upset against a 10-2 Wake Forest team. Despite the loss, however, Miami stayed motivated and bounced back on Sunday.

The match against Virginia Tech went the opposite from Friday’s loss as Miami lost the first set before taking the last three to win the game, 3-1. After a 25-17 loss in the first set, the Hurricanes won two close sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-23. With a 2-1 lead and all the momentum, the ‘Canes closed the match with a decisive 25-11 win in the fourth set.

Coming off a key, in-conference road win, the ‘Canes sit at a record of 8-4 overall with an even 1-1 ACC record. Miami will return home to play another pair of conference opponents as they take on the Duke Blue Devils on September 29th, followed by a duel with the North Carolina Tar Heels on October 1st.