Miami volleyball has moved on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after defeating No. 8-seeded Northern Iowa, 3-1.
Sophomore Flormarie Heredia Colon began set one with an emphatic ace that established a winning tone for Miami for the rest of the match. The Hurricanes then went on a 7-2 run on their way to a 25-23 set victory. Freshman Grace Lopez, who posted a career-high 30 kills for the match, led the way with five kills.
Just like in the first set, UM was on fire to start the second. A 6-1 run that was shouldered by two blocks from graduate student Abby Casiano paved the way for a 25-19 set-two victory for the ‘Canes.
In need of a win to keep its postseason dreams alive, UNI opened set three with a 10-6 lead. Kills from Casiano and Lopez kept the Hurricanes afloat, but the Panthers finished as strong as they started and secured the crucial win, 25-20.
This third-set victory generated momentum for UNI that was quickly retaken by Lopez, who registered three early kills in set four to lead Miami’s 7-4 start. Lopez and veteran outside hitter Angela Grieve spearheaded a match-clinching victory for the ‘Canes, which was capped off by a record-setting assist from Savannah Vach to Janice Leao.
Vach’s assist to Leao was her 5,209th, which now sits atop Miami’s all-time leaderboard.
For the match, the Hurricanes totaled 57 kills, 50 assists, 48 digs and 14 blocks.
Miami will face off against top-seeded Wisconsin on Friday at 5 p.m. with a chance to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.