Hurricanes volleyball falls to NC State Wolfpack 3-1

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The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team fell to NC State 3-1 at the James L. Knight Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon.

Despite a strong offensive showing, the Hurricanes (11-15, 5-9 ACC) dropped three straight sets after winning the opening game. Miami hit .340 percent for the match behind a career-high 19 kills for sophomore outside hitter Anna Haak.

“I have to give [NC State] credit,” Miami Head Coach José “Keno” Gándara said. “They served a lot tougher than we did and they passed better. That’s always the challenge – to serve and pass better – and they won that.”

Behind five kills from Haak on an efficient .833 attack percentage, the Canes came out on top 25-20 in a back-and-forth opening set.

“I’ve been working on some new shots,” Haak said. “I haven’t been hitting that much line, so I’ve been working on that a little more. I’ve also been working on a little sharp cross. Then also I’ve been working on tipping, so that’s also starting to work out a lot for me.”

Junior outside hitter Olga Strantzali added five kills, including her 1,000th collegiate kill on her first attack of the afternoon.

The Wolfpack (16-10, 9-5 ACC) answered back, taking the second set 25-23. Miami led 22-20, but surrendered a 5-1 run to NC State as it edged the win to even the match.

Heading into the break, Miami and NC State were tied 23 times and combined for 12 lead changes in the first two sets.

Coming out of the intermission, it was all NC State. The Wolfpack stormed ahead, opening the third set on a 7-1 run. Miami would slowly chip away at the NC State lead, cutting it to 9-5; however, the Wolfpack wouldn’t look back and would go on a 16-10 run to close out the set 25-15.

NC State got off to another hot start to begin the fourth set, going up 6-1 before Gándara called a timeout to try to slow down the run. The Wolfpack would continue to roll as they would push the lead to as high as 11 and hold on to close out the Canes 25-17.

Haak led the way for the Hurricanes in kills and added four digs, an assist and a service ace.

“Anna had one of her best matches, in a losing cause, but she showed composure at the end of the match,” Gándara said. “She’s just poised to have a good ending to the season.”

Strantzali added 17 kills, a team-high seven digs, two service aces and an assist.

“I’m happy about [reaching 1,000 kills],” Strantzali said. “It makes me want to work harder. I want to have more kills. I want to help the team even more. I just feel bad because we lost and we were right there.”

Freshman setter Hannah Sorensen dished out 43 assists, continuing her streak of having at least 25 assists in every match she has played in since taking over the setting duties.

Sophomore outside hitter Kolby Bird and sophomore middle blocker Lucia Pampana each added five kills of their own and combined for three blocks.

The Hurricanes will look to overcome their two-game skid as they travel to play the Syracuse Orange at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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