First-Place Volleyball Holds Off BC in Five
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The University of Miami volleyball team extended its winning streak to six matches with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Boston College at Power Gym on Sunday. The Hurricanes remain in a tie for first place with Florida State and have now won both five-set matches it has played this season.
UM (16-3, 8-1 ACC) won by the set scores of 28-26, 16-25, 25-18, 11-25 and 15-10 to take its ninth-straight meeting against the Eagles. BC dropped to 10-11 overall and 4-5 in the league.
Junior right side Alex Johnson (16 kills, 17 digs) and senior setter Nrithya Sundararaman (47 assists, 10 digs) picked up their fifth and eighth double-double, respectively, of the season to spark the Canes. Sophomore outside hitter Savanah Leaf recorded 16 more kills to bring her weekend total to 29 in two matches. On the front line, sophomore middle blocker Alexis Mourning led the team with six total blocks, as UM put down 14.5 total team blocks on the day.
Junior libero Ryan Shaffer notched 30 digs in the contest to help hold the Eagles to a .184 clip. Miami entered the weekend ranked first in the league in opponent hitting percentage.
The match featured 26 ties and 11 lead changes, with 11 ties in the opener. Boston College jumped out to a 14-10 lead in the first set and looked poised to take the frame with a 24-22 advantage. However, the Canes fought back with a combined block from sophomore middle blocker Emani Sims and junior outside hitter Taylor Hollins for their 23rd point and the Eagles made an error to knot the score at 25.
UM found itself facing set point for the third time following a service error, but Hollins put down a kill to even it out once again. Next, Mourning and Sundararaman combined for blocks on the subsequent two points to give the Hurricanes the 1-0 match lead.
Boston College ran out early to a lead in the second set and held on to even the match at one.
In the pivotal third, the teams split the first 32 points with Miami then winning the next two to go up 18-16. The Canes continued to make it a 9-2 run to take the 2-1 advantage. Nevertheless, the Eagles responded to even the match with a decisive fourth-set win.
Playing in a fifth set for the first time on the road this season, the Canes gained the important early momentum with a 9-4 lead. That advantage would hold up, with Mourning collecting a block solo to give Miami its third road conference win and keep pace in the standings.
Courtney Castle registered a match-high 22 kills for BC, while Kellie Barnum had 48 assists.
The Canes will continue on the road next weekend, facing Clemson (ESPN3) on Friday and Georgia Tech (RSN) on Sunday.
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