Miami drops five set grudge match to Clemson, 3-2.

Sophomore outside hitter Cianna Tejada and setter Savannah Vach lay down a block on the North Carolina State volleyball team at the Knight Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2023. Photo credit: Trevor Castleman

Following a gritty win against North Carolina State on Oct. 6, the Hurricanes traveled to South Carolina to face the Clemson Tigers (12-7,3-4 ACC) for another tight conference match. While Miami (11-6, 4-3 ACC) carried the momentum from their last game, beginning with a quick first-set victory over the Tigers, the game soon shifted away from Miami as they dropped the conference game over a close 5 set match.

The Hurricanes tied the game at 8 in the first set with a block from sophomore Flormarie Heredia-Colon and junior Ashley Carr. The ‘Canes began to run away with the set, maintaining a significant lead that secured them the first set win 25-15.

As the second set began, the two teams remained close until there was a shift favoring Clemson. The Tigers would go on a 6-0 run, making their lead even more significant at 22-13. However, Heredia-Colon answered for the Hurricanes, beginning a small ‘Canes comeback with back-to-back kills; yet it was too little too late for the second set as Clemson would go on to win 25-18.

Using Heredia-Colon’s momentum, Miami responded, winning a neck and neck third set. As the two teams went back-and-forth with four lead changes early on, the score reached a tie at 10 when freshmen Grace Lopez and Heredia-Colon, who both lead the team with 17 kills, went on to have 4 and 5 of those kills, respectively, showing the Hurricanes to a close 25-21 win.

The back-and-forth nature of the match continued in the fourth set as Miami began with an early lead as fifth-year setter Savannah Vach, who would finish the game with 50 assists, set her teammates up for success, assisting in 10 early kills, keeping the ‘Canes close to the Tigers. However, with the score tied at 14, the Tigers responded with a 9-4 run to win the set 25-19.

With a tied match heading into the 5th set, Clemson came out fast, holding on to an early lead, which the Hurricanes could not counter, ending with Miami dropping the set 15-10, giving the Tigers the 3-2 victory.

The Hurricanes will look to bounce back from this close loss as they head to Atlanta, GA, to face off for their next conference game, Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against Georgia Tech on Oct. 15.