ATLANTA - No. 24 Miami volleyball extended its winning streak to eight matches after defeating Georgia Tech in three sets on Sunday at O'Keefe Gymnasium in a match televised by RSN. It was the seventh sweep of the season for the Hurricanes.
UM won by the scores of 25-22, 28-26 and 25-15 to improve to 18-3 overall and 10-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Having played every team in the league once, the 10-1 conference mark is the best in program history through 11 matches.
"It was really a complete effort today and it started with our passing and defense," head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "We were able to handle the ball really well and all of our attackers hit over .300, which is amazing. I think we were able to frustrate them with our defense and the ability to side-out. It was another great team win."
Junior outside hitter Taylor Hollins picked up her team-leading 15th double-double of the season with 16 digs and 11 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Savanah Leaf had a team-high 12 kills to spark the Canes. Sophomore middle blocker Emani Sims backed her record-setting performance at Clemson with 11 kills and seven total blocks.
Orchestrating the offense, senior setter Nrithya Sundararaman had 38 assists.
Playing in a hostile environment, Miami took the first set behind five kills apiece from Hollins and Leaf, with Sundararaman collecting 17 assists. After the teams split the first 22 points, the Canes went on a 5-1 run to take a lead it would not relinquish. Georgia Tech brought it to within 24-22, but Sims put down a kill to give the visitors the opener. UM has taken the first set in 14 of 21 matches this season.
The Yellow Jackets responded in the second with a rally to overcome a late four-point deficit. Miami had first chance at the set with a 24-23 lead, but Georgia Tech won the next two exchanges for a set point of their own. After UM fended that off, the hosts once again had an opportunity to tie the match, but sophomore middle blocker Alexis Mourning put down two kills and combined with Sundararaman on a block to push the match lead to 2-0.
Looking to close it out on the road, UM ran out to a 16-9 lead in the third and never looked back to clinch the win and sweep the four-match road trip. A block by Mourning and Sundararaman ended the day, as the Canes put down 14.0 total team blocks. In addition, Miami hit at a clip of .406 for the match.
Defensively, Miami collected 50 digs compared to 34 by Georgia Tech. Hollins and junior libero Ryan Shaffer combined for 31 digs.
The Yellow Jackets suffered only their second home loss of the season, falling to 15-7 on the season and 6-5 in the league. Monique Mead and Annie Czarnecki each had 12 kills for GT.
Coupled with the five-set win at Clemson on Friday night, it marked the first time Miami had ever won both matches on the CU-GT road trip.
"I think we took a big step up this week in our road performance and being able to rise to the challenge," Lantagne Welch said. "We have to keep improving as the season continues and working hard to move up the ladder."
The Canes will return home to the Knight Sports Complex on Friday looking to avenge its only ACC loss of the year versus Virginia Tech. First serve is set for 6 p.m.
The UM Ticket Office is pleased to offer single game tickets to home volleyball matches at the Knight Complex for as low as $3. Call 1-800-GO-CANES to order your tickets today.
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