No. 24 Volleyball Rolls Past Virginia Tech
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - After fending off three set points in the first set, No. 24 Miami volleyball took down Virginia Tech in three sets on Friday at the Knight Sports Complex to avenge an earlier season loss to the Hokies. With the sweep, the Canes have now won their last 15 at home and 26 of the last 27 dating back to last season.
UM won by the scores of 28-26, 25-14 and 26-24 to extend its season-long winning streak to nine matches, and improve to 19-3 overall and 11-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Canes become the first team in the league to defeat all 11 ACC opponents.
Junior outside hitter Taylor Hollins totaled match-highs with 14 kills and nine digs, with senior setter Nrithya Sundararaman picking up 36 assists. Sophomores Savanah Leaf (13) and Alexis Mourning (10) also recorded double-digit slammers.
Sundararaman, the lone senior on the roster, became the fourth player in program history to surpass 2,000 career assists.
Down 23-20 in the opener, Miami won the next three points to even the set. Following a UM service error to make it 24-23 in favor of the visitors, Virginia Tech committed a service error of its own to tie the score. The Hokies then had two more chances, but Hollins knocked in kills each time to continue the frame. VT made another service error and Mourning came through with a successful kill off an assist from Hollins to give the Canes the 1-0 advantage. The set featured 14 ties and three lead changes.
"We are a team that clearly doesn't panic when down in a set," head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "We are just going to embrace the situation that we are in and try to get the next point to the best of our ability. I felt like our team has been able to grind it out at the end of sets and that was the case tonight."
Miami then led the next set from start to finish to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
The Hokies fought back in the third with a chance to win at 24-23, but once again Hollins put in a kill to extend into extra points. Following a VT attack error, Mourning ended the match with a kill right down the middle of the court.
Virginia Tech (13-9, 6-6) was led by 11 kills from Jennifer Wiker.
Both teams sported pink shirts during warm-ups in support of the Dig Pink initiative, with donations being accepted throughout the night to benefit breast cancer research.
First-place Miami will return to the Knight Sports Complex on Sunday to take on Virginia at 1 p.m. The Canes defeated the Cavaliers, 3-0, earlier in the season in Charlottesville.Single-game tickets to home volleyball matches are available for as low as $3. Call 1-800-GO-CANES to order your tickets today. For all the latest information on Miami Hurricanes volleyball, follow the official Twitter feed, @CanesVB, or "Like Us" on Facebook at facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes.