Volleyball disappoints at Hurricane Invitational (Online Exclusive)

University of Miami’s volleyball team dropped to 3-6 for the season after losing two of three matches in the Hurricane Invitational this weekend.

The ‘Canes dropped the bookend matches to Florida A&M and Loyola Marymount. The only win on the weekend came against Jacksonville in the second match.

In the first match against Florida A&M, Miami lost 3-2 (24-30, 31-29, 20-30, 30-24, 15-8), despite the efforts of outside hitter Francheska Savage who led the Hurricanes with a career high 29 kills.

“She is a big offensive weapon for us that we like to go to a lot,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne-Welch said. “She followed it up with a couple solid matches. We hope to keep getting her the ball and have her keep putting it away for us.”

Miami was able to jump out early on FAMU and won the first five points of the match. UM stayed out in front the entire game and won 30-24.

After FAMU won the second game 31-29, Miami came back and dominated the third game 30-20. The ‘Canes were unable to put away the Rattlers in the final two games of the match.

“We played a great match Friday night,” Lantagne-Welch said. “You can do two things after a loss like that, get sad and depressed or learn and move on.”

The Hurricanes did learn and move on in game two of the Invitational against Jacksonville. Miami pulled out a four game win (30-22, 26-30, 31-29, 30-23) against the Dolphins for the ‘Canes third win of the season.

Senior outside hitter Sara Duncan led the team with 18 kills, followed by Savage and middle blocker Ciara Michel who added 16 and 12 kills respectively.

Setter Jill Robinson and setter Bridget Bomhack provided a combined 54 assists. Outside hitter Michelle Bruin also added 12 digs.

“We are young in some areas and progressing,” Lantagne-Welch said. “We learned a lot about ourselves.”

The final match up featured Miami against Loyola Marymount University. The Lions soundly defeated the ‘Canes in three games (31-29, 30-27, 30-24).

Miami had their chances throughout. In game one, the ‘Canes were up 28-22. LMU answered back with seven straight points and went on to take the first game 31-29.

The Lions controlled games two and three. The Hurricanes were unable to take any serious advantage throughout either game.

Duncan led Miami’s offense with 16 kills and a .429 hitting percentage against LMU.

Robinson shined offensively in the three matches with 102 assists.

“I will tell the team two things,” Lantagne-Welch said. “We need to stay confident in our first touch and we need to come up big in key points. We know when we make those plays good things will begin to happen.”

Denis Brown may be contacted at dbrown@umsis.miami.edu