RALEIGH, N.C. - Behind a balanced attack, No. 23 Miami volleyball bounced back to defeat North Carolina State, 3-1, on Sunday inside Reynolds Coliseum. UM won by the set scores of 25-17, 22-25, 25-21 and 25-23 to move back into a tie atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings.
The Hurricanes improved to 21-4 on the season and 13-2 in the ACC, while NC State dropped to 19-7 and 9-6.
Three Canes registered double-digit kills on the afternoon, led by a match-high 14 from sophomore middle blocker Alexis Mourning. Junior right side Alex Johnson picked up her seventh double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs, while classmate Taylor Hollins had 11 kills on the outside. Miami hit .286 as a team in the match.
Defensively, junior libero Ryan Shaffer led the efforts with a match-high 20 digs, as UM totaled 66 on the day to hold the hosts to a .146 hitting percentage. Senior setter Nrithya Sundararaman had 40 assists.
Starting strong, Miami hit .306 in the first set and took advantage of nine NC State errors to take the opener. After going ahead 2-1, the Canes built a lead of as many as eight points and cruised from there to seize the momentum. Leaf put down a cross-court kill to clinch the set, as UM has won the opener in each match following a loss this season.
The Wolfpack rebounded in the second to even the match behind a .425 hitting percentage. UM went up 13-10, but NC State went on an 11-4 run to swing the momentum and tie it at one.
Following the break, Miami went up 7-3 in the third, but NCSU fought back to tie the score at nine. The teams went back-and-forth from there with neither side able to gain more than a two-point advantage until UM went up 21-18 on a block by Mourning and sophomore middle blocker Emani Sims. The set ended on perfectly placed tip shot by Johnson down the line to give the Canes the 2-1 set lead.
It looked as though Miami would run away with the fourth with a 10-5 lead, but NCSU chipped away to eventually tie it at 23. Following a UM timeout, Mourning, who had six kills in the set, slammed a ball down the middle and the Wolfpack committed an attack error to end the match and give the Hurricanes their six road win of the season.
UM swept the season series with NC State and now leads the all-time series, 16-1. The Wolfpack entered the weekend with the most home wins in the country (14).
The Canes will return to the state of North Carolina next weekend to take on Wake Forest and Duke on Friday and Saturday. UM defeated both of those teams in Coral Gables earlier this season.
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