The volleyball team continued to dominate its intrastate rivals this season after knocking off Florida Atlantic University Wednesday at the Knight Sports Complex. With the victory, the Hurricanes improved to 8-6 while the Owls fell to 13-4.
Before the match, Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch emphasized that the team’s passing execution and overall aggressiveness would be keys to victory. The Hurricanes followed through on that plan for the most part.
“We came out passing well, which set the tone for the match,” Lantagne Welch said. “We showed aggressiveness in spurts.”
Lantagne Welch would be the first person to say that volleyball always involves a team effort, but she did single out senior Ashley Youngs’ performance Wednesday night.
“She was the one player who was truly aggressive from start to finish. She had an excellent match,” she said.
Youngs recorded 16 kills and nine digs, leaving her one dig shy of a double-double. The 16 kills mark a new career-best for Youngs, passing her previous career-best (13) against Maryland earlier this season. Youngs also had a.556 attack percentage with only one error.
Junior Karla Johnson added 11 kills and had a .320 attack percentage. Senior Elizabeth Tyson at one point in the match had eight straight service points. Sophomore Jill Robinson had 44 assists and senior Jamie Grass posted 18 digs.
In the first game, Miami came out aggressively and built up an early lead it didn’t relinquish. FAU did close within four points, but that was as close as it got. The Hurricanes went on a four-point streak before the Owls called a timeout with the score at 18-10. Miami eventually finished off the game to win 30-22.
The Owls adjusted in Game Two, maintaining a close lead for almost half the game. Miami tied the game at 12-12 before Youngs caught fire, as she led an eight-point run by scoring four kills of her own. Miami exploded to a 10-point lead and took the game 30-18.
Miami was the dominant team in Game Three as well, running up a score of 20-10. FAU, however, came back with a five-point run of its own, pulling within five points. Any such rally ended after the Hurricanes called a timeout to regroup. They closed out the game at 30-22.
Despite an impressive showing, Lantagne Welch believes the team can improve on making quicker adjustments within the match.
“When we made quick adjustments they paid dividends; when we didn’t it lead to FAU scoring points,” she said.
This weekend, Miami faces challenges in N.C. State on Friday and North Carolina on Sunday. Both are home matches.
“FAU is a local rivalry and you always want to do well against in-state teams,” Lantagne Welch said. “Our focus now will be on our conference play. We’re excited for this weekend.”
Michael Soto can be contacted at