CORAL GABLES, FLA. – Savanah Leaf and Taylor Scott each recorded a double-double to help the Orange squad win the 2014 Orange & Green Scrimmage.
While the Orange team won Friday night’s scrimmage, it was the Green team who took the first set, 25-16. But the Orange squad battled back to win the next three sets, 25-17, 25-18 and 25-21, to secure the victory.
“It was good to get out there and get comfortable with the energy,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “I liked the energy. We’ve got to work on consistency a little bit. There were too many ups and downs in our game. We have to learn how to stay on our highs longer and not drop too low. We have to keep our composure when the other team plays well. It was a good night. We got some good information on our team and a good task list going forward.”
Leaf led all players with 25 kills on Friday, adding 11 digs and two aces to secure a double-double. The senior captain got a lot of help from Scott, who recorded 22 kills and 10 digs. Senior setter Blair Fuentez and junior setter Caitilin Donahoe combined for 44 assists, while junior defensive specialist Kalysta White led the Orange team with 15 digs.
“I think I look really good in orange so that was a perk,” Scott said. “Playing in a scrimmage is totally different from practice. It was great to have people here supporting us. I love playing with refs and a crowd so it was great for me to play in this environment. I liked the environment and my teammates I have really good vibes for this season.”
Freshmen Sakile Simmons and Michele Marenus also contributed to the Orange victory. Simmons had nine kills and six blocks in the middle, while Marenus chipped in with six digs.
“Some people really stepped up and that was nice to see,” Leaf said. “People seemed comfortable and in their element tonight and that was great to see.”
Senior middle blocker Emani Sims captained a Green team that consisted of junior outside hitter Misty Ma’a, sophomore outside hitter Kelsie Groot, freshmen outside hitter Brooke McDermott, freshman setter Haley Templeton and freshman defensive specialist Sylvia Hernandez.
Ma’a led the Green team with 17 kills, while Groot chipped in with 15 kills and eight digs. Sims was the Green side’s top blocker with seven, while adding nine kills. Templeton dished out 37 assists, while Miami natives McDermott and Hernandez recorded 14 and 15 digs, respectively.
“It was exciting to finally put my uniform on and go out there to play,” Hernandez said. “I had a good amount of family here. I liked that we were playing a game. It’s more intense and you’re trying to win every point. It was a lot of fun.”
The Canes open the regular season with next week’s Hurricane Invitational. Miami hosts Seton Hall on Aug.29 at 7 p.m., while they will face Florida A&M on Aug. 30 at noon and Florida Gult Coast on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.
Admission for Hurricanes volleyball is free and all matches are played at the James L. Knight Sports Complex on the University of Miami campus.