LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore Emani Sims notched a career-high 17 kills to help lead the University of Miami volleyball team past UNLV, 3-1, on Friday in the opener of the Louisville Tournament inside the KFC Yum! Center. It was the first-ever meeting between the programs.
UM (8-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast), which has now won 13 straight neutral site matches, won by set scores of 26-24, 25-19, 17-25 and 25-23. The Rebels, a member of the Mountain West Conference, dropped to 6-4 on the season.
Sims, who was a Preseason All-ACC selection, also registered a career-high with 43 attempts in the match to go along with the match-high 17 kills. The middle blocker additionally put down six total blocks to bring her season total up to 35.
Senior setter Nrithya Sundararaman continued her consistent play with 49 assists to bump up her set average to 11.15 on the year. In addition, she recorded seven total blocks for a new career best and had 10 digs.
Junior Ryan Shaffer once again led the Canes with 23 digs from the libero position.
The Rebels jumped out to a 10-5 lead to take the early momentum in the first set. The Canes responded by winning the next six points to go up 11-10. The teams went back and forth from 17-17 all the way up to 24-24 in a tightly-contested opener that went right down to the wire. Sophomore Alexis Mourning then laid down a kill to give UM set point, and followed by combining with Sundararaman for a block assist to give the Hurricanes the 1-0 advantage.
The momentum continued in the second as Miami went ahead early and staved off UNLV to go up 2-0. The Rebels did not back down, though, as they built and controlled a cushion in the third to force another frame.
In the fourth, the Canes ran up a 6-0 advantage and held on late once again to seal its fourth four-set win of the year. Junior Alex Johnson knocked in her fourth service ace of the day to end the match.
UNLV had three different players record 14 kills in the contest.
The Hurricanes will continue the Louisville Tournament on Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. match against Middle Tennessee before facing No. 12 Louisville at 7 p.m. Miami is 1-0 against ranked foes this season.
Freshman Misty Ma'a made her collegiate debut with eight kills off the bench ... Taylor Hollins recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 assists ... Nicole Lantagne Welch is now 3-0 against current teams from the Mountain West, each time winning 3-1 ... UM is now 8-0 when holding a higher hitting percentage than its opponent ... the 15.0 total team blocks were a season high.
The UM Ticket Office is pleased to offer season tickets for both volleyball and soccer for just $50. Season tickets to the home volleyball schedule at the Knight Complex can be purchased for $35, with single match tickets available for as low as $3. Call 1-800-GO-CANES to order your tickets today.
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