Miami cruises past No. 9 Georgia Tech for stunning upset in home finale

Miami celebrates during its game against Pittsburgh on Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Knight Sports Complex. Photo credit: Reese Putnam

Coming off a tough four-set rivalry loss against Florida State, the University of Miami faced a tough customer in the No. 9 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Nov. 17.

The Hurricanes sought to cash in on a big-time matchup, and they surely delivered in their last home game of the year. It was all Miami on Friday night at the James L. Knight Sports Complex, crushing the Yellow Jackets in a 3-0 sweep for the second time this season.

The first set was tightly contested through the early stages before Miami began to pull away. Flormarie Heredia Colon led the ‘Canes in the first frame with six kills and two assists, plus a solo block.

The Yellow Jackets did their best to keep it close, but Miami made sure it would not go down against a top-10 team early. Abby Casiano finished it off with a kill to give Miami the 25-21 victory in the first set.

Set two told a much different story for the ‘Canes (17-9, 10-5 ACC) , as they sought to make quick work of the Yellow Jackets (21-5, 12-4 ACC) off their early set advantage. Lopez and Angela Grieve led Miami’s scoring early, notching four and three kills, respectively, to bring the score to 11-7.

After a series of errors by Georgia Tech that stretched out Miami’s advantage, the Hurricanes took advantage and pulled ahead for a 5-0 run midway through the set. Lopez and Savannah Vach doubled up for two kills apiece to help put Miami comfortably ahead at 21-14. The Canes finished off set two, 25-17, with a solo block from Janice Leao that ignited a packed crowd at the Knight Complex.

Hungry for victory over a top-10 squad in their final home game, the ‘Canes held nothing back going to what would be the third and final set. Heredia Colon was once again the star of the show for Miami, logging six kills in a 25-14 victory that was all but an end-to-end dominant set for the ‘Canes. Her six kills included the knockout punch with a kill to seal the upset win for UM.

In Friday night’s home finale, Miami held the lead throughout all three sets, not once allowing Georgia Tech to lead. The Yellow Jackets were also held to a meager .098 hitting percentage, a testament to Miami’s hard work on defense in the match.

Stat leaders for Miami included Heredia Colon with 15 kills, along with a monstrous .682 kill percentage, followed closely by Lopez with 12 kills and three service aces. Vach served up a massive 35 assists for the ‘Canes and had two service aces.

Up next, Miami will face the Pittsburgh Panthers at Fitzgerald Field House on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Game time is set for 7 p.m.