CORAL GABLES. Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team was resilient in its five-set victory over LSU Saturday.
The Canes, who dropped Friday’s home opener in five sets, withstood a late run by LSU to beat the Tigers 25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 16-25, 15-11. The Miami victory gave LSU (7-1) its first loss of the season and allowed the Canes to split this weekend’s series.
Miami (5-2) took the first 25-18 thanks to a potent attack led by juniors Savanah Leaf, Alexis Mourning and Emani Sims. The trio combined for 11 kills in Miami’s opening set victory.
Leaf, Mourning and Sims continued to pace the Hurricane attack in the second set, combining for nine kills. Senior Alex Johnson chipped in with three kills to give Miami a 2-0 advantage heading into the intermission.
LSU rallied to take the third set thanks to a big performance from middles Khourtni Fears and Briana Holman. The pair combined for eight kills in the set to help kept the Tigers alive.
The Tigers continued their success after the intermission, taking the fourth set 16-25. Cati Leak’s five kills helped LSU take the fourth set and force a deciding fifth set.
But Miami overcame the LSU rally to take the fifth and final set by four points. Mourning and Leaf combined for five kills and several key blocks to help get the Canes their first home win of the season.
Leaf led the Canes with 22 kills, while Johnson added 15 and Mourning chipped in with 11. Leaf and Johnson registered double-doubles, collecting 10 and 15 digs, respectively.
Senior Ryan Shaffer, who played in her 100th career match Saturday, played a key role for Miami defensively, tallying 36 digs to go with a pair of kills and two assists.
The Canes return to the court on Sept. 20 in the NIKE Invitational on the University of Oklahoma campus. Miami will play three matches over two days in Norman, Okla., opening Friday at 1 p.m. against Nebraska-Omaha. The Hurricanes face the host Sooners at 8 p.m. Friday and take on Tulsa at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Hurricanes will open ACC play on Sept. 28 at Boston College. Their next home match is scheduled for Oct. 11 against Pitt. Miami will host the Panthers at 7 p.m. at the Knight Complex.
Miami volleyball season tickets are available for $35. Canes fans can also purchase a combined season ticket package for volleyball and soccer for $50. Single-game volleyball tickets are just $5 for adults and $3 for youth (Ages 3-17). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit CanesTix.com or call 305-284-2263.
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