Miami volleyball swept by No. 3 Pittsburgh on the road

Junior middle blocker Ashley Carr successfully blocks the Pitt middle hitters spike on November 5 at the Knight Sports Complex. Photo credit: Reese Putnam

Heading into this match, Miami and Pittsburgh (Pitt) were fresh off impressive wins and looking to keep it rolling. The ‘Canes were coming in from its second sweep of No. 9 Georgia Tech and Pitt after defeating No. 4 Louisville.

Unfortunately, only one of these teams could keep its momentum rolling, and on Wednesday, that team was Pittsburgh. The No. 3 ranked Panthers dominated, winning all three sets relatively easily.

The first set started competitively, and the game was tied up at eight thanks to kills by Angela Grieve, Flormarie Heredia Colon, and Grace Lopez. After that point, Pitt went on a massive 9-2 run, taking control of the set.

Miami did not let up easy and responded with a short 3-0 run of its own fueled by kills from Abby Casiano and Heredia Colon to bring the ‘Canes within four. Following this moment, the set turned disastrous for UM as Pitt closed out the set on an 8-2 run, easily winning it 25-15.

Unlike set one, set two was tightly contested the whole way through. Janice Leao stepped up in a big way for the Hurricanes, logging six kills in just the second set, which was a primary factor in keeping this set close.

The two squads were essentially trading points until late in the set when Pitt gained all the momentum after a Lopez service error that gave the Panthers a one-point lead. The error prompted Pittsburgh’s 5-1 run to close out the set, slamming the door on a valiant set two effort by the ‘Canes.

Set three was a lot like set one, dominated by the Panthers. Pitt’s star tandem of Olivia Babcock and Valeria Vazquez Gomez was ferocious on offense, and its defense, led by Emma Monks up front, was stifling UM, holding its star hitter Lopez to just four kills on the night.

Pitt went up big early and did not look back, steadily increasing its lead throughout the set until it eventually pulled it out 25-12 and the match 3-0.

Match leaders for the ‘Canes were Leao with six kills, Savannah Vach with 19 assists, Grieve with seven digs, and Casiano with four blocks.

Next, the Canes will look to finish the regular season positively before the ACC tournament as they will face Boston College (18-13, 7-10 ACC) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the road.