CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team is back on the road this week for another pair of conference matches.
The Hurricanes travel to South Carolina for a 7 p.m. match against Clemson on Friday. Miami then heads to Atlanta for a 7 p.m. battle against Georgia Tech Saturday night. The Canes won matches at Clemson (3-2) and Georgia Tech (3-0) in 2012.
Miami (9-3, 2-0 ACC) opened conference play a week ago, beating Boston College in five sets to secure head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara’s first ACC win. A day later, the team traveled to the Carrier Dome and defeated Syracuse in four sets to clinch an undefeated ACC opening weekend.
“I think they’re learning how to be consistent in their approach,” Gandara said. “They know other teams are going to play well and that we need to score some points. They are getting better at being consistent with how we want to play and it’s starting to pay off.”
The Hurricanes have been one of the top defensive teams in the ACC this season. Miami ranks second in the conference with 3.28 blocks/set thanks is part to junior middle blockers Alexis Mourning and Emani Sims who have combined for 103 blocks over 12 matches this season.
Miami is not just effective defending near the net, as senior defensive specialist Ryan Shaffer is second in the conference with 4.81 digs/set. Shaffer, who has 1,789 digs in her career, ranks second in school history behind Cassie Loessberg’s 2,008.
Junior Blair Fuentez is among the top setters in the ACC, ranking fifth with 10.19 assists/set. Fuentez has helped fellow junior Savanah Leaf establish herself as one of the top hitters in the ACC, ranking fourth in the conference with 3.96 kills/set.
Leaf is one of six Hurricanes to register a double-double this season. The San Anselmo, Calif., native is tied with senior Alex Johnson for the team lead with six double-doubles on the season. She was also one block short of a rare triple-double against Boston College a week ago, finishing with 17 kills, 12 digs and nine blocks.
Following this weekend’s trip to Clemson and Georgia Tech, the Canes will return to Coral Gables to host Pitt in their ACC home opener. Their match against the Panthers is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Knight Sports 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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