Even with a packed stadium and an electric atmosphere, the University of Miami volleyball team lost to Clemson University 3-2 Friday night at the James L. Knight Sports Complex, falling to 1-3 against ACC opponents.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the deciding fifth set but lost the frame 13-15. The defeat was the sixth of the year for Miami, matching their loss total for all of last season.
On Sunday, the volleyball team rebounded in another five-set match, defeating Georgia Tech 3-2. The Hurricanes (9-6, 2-3) again took a commanding 10-4 lead in the deciding fifth set. This time, however, they did not relinquish the advantage and won the frame 15-9.
Head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch did not allow her team to forget about the disappointing finish to Friday night’s match and made a point of reminding them during a Georgia Tech timeout during Sunday‘s fifth set.
“We said look, we’ve been here before. This match is nowhere from over, and we have to really be disciplined and every person on our team has to just do their part,” Welch said. “Sometimes we get too excited and we just had to settle down…people made key plays, the plays that they needed to make to get us through.”
The victory came as a relief to the Hurricanes. It was the second time in three weeks they failed to win a match in which they held a 2-0 set advantage. The other meltdown occurred on Sept. 19th against the University of Notre Dame during the Seminole Tri-Match in Tallahassee, Fla.
Despite the loss sophomore outside hitter Lane Carico collected 36 kills, a UM school record.
“I just want to do whatever I can to help the team and it doesn’t make a difference however many kills I get,” Carico said. “Everybody on the team has to play well for us to win.”
If the Hurricanes hope to turn their season around they will have to do so on the road. Their next four matches will take place away from Coral Gables, including a trip to North Carolina this weekend to play against Wake Forest and Duke.
The next time Miami plays at home will be on Oct. 23, where they will face off against the University of North Carolina at the Knight Sports Complex.