After a tough five-set loss at Clemson on Friday night, Miami bounced back in the best way, sweeping No. 11 Georgia Tech on its home court.
Set one began back-and-forth, with freshman Grace Lopez and junior Ashley Carr providing the early offense. After the initial stalemate, the defense lit a spark for the ‘Canes, highlighted by a Lopez pancake dig that led to a kill by redshirt senior Angela Grieve to put UM out in front, 12-11.
Miami used this momentum to go on a run, stretching the lead out to as high as five points. Despite that run, the Yellow Jackets did not go away and evened the score at 21 after multiple attack errors by the ‘Canes.
Those errors prompted a timeout from head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara, which proved to be the right move as Miami ended up winning set one 25-23 after a huge block by Grieve and sophomore Cianna Tejada, followed by a service ace to close it out.
Similar to set one, set two also started out tightly contested with lots of lead changes. However, in the middle of the set, momentum seemingly swung towards the ‘Canes as Georgia Tech’s Paola Pimentel did almost a bicycle kick to extend the play, causing the crowd to erupt, only to be silenced by a Grieve and Tejada block, giving UM the point.
After that wild play, the Hurricanes’ offense was rolling, led by Lopez, who had seven kills in the set, along with fifth-year senior Savannah Vach, who earned a kill with her patented fake set and tap over. Miami ended up winning the second set 25-20 following two kills by Lopez to put the Jackets away.
Set three saw the Yellow Jackets (15-3, 6-2 ACC) come out angry, quickly jumping to a 7-2 lead. Miami was not going to give this set away, clawing its way back behind strong play from sophomore Flormarie Heredia-Colon and Grieve. The ‘Canes (12-6, 5-3 ACC) got their first lead of the set after a block by Vach, which pushed their lead to six points at a score of 20-14.
Tech responded with a gritty run of its own, scoring six straight to make it a tie game at 20 a piece. This set came down to the wire, but the Hurricanes prevailed, winning set three 26-24 after a service ace by sophomore Milana Moisio, ultimately sweeping Georgia Tech 3-0.
Match leaders for the ‘Canes were Lopez with 22 kills, junior Yaidaliz Rosado with 11 digs and Cianna Tejada with four total blocks.
Next up, Miami will try and ride this momentum back home, where they will take on Syracuse (2-16, 0-8 ACC) on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Knight Sports Complex.