Volleyball secures first conference win with sweep

The University of Miami volleyball team swept the visiting Maryland Terrapins in three games Sunday at the Knight Sports Complex. The Hurricanes improved to 4-8 on the season and 1-2 in the ACC, picking up their first conference victory.

The ‘Canes defeated Maryland 30-24 and 30-27 in the first two back-and-forth games. The third game was all Miami, however, as they rolled en route to a 30-14 victory.

With the loss, Maryland fell to 7-4 on the season and 0-2 in the ACC.

Senior outside hitter Francheska Savage led the team with 14 kills, while junior middle blocker Ciara Michel contributed 11 kills and senior libero Ann Gallo had 10. Senior setter Jill Robinson added a team-high 39 assists.

“We executed very well,” Michel said. “I always want to do even better, but it was a good game.”

Miami started by scoring the first three points of the first game, but Maryland battled back, took the lead, and held it until the ‘Canes knotted it at 23 apiece and finally won 30-24.

The second game looked like it would be all Maryland, as they jumped out to an early lead and led 20-14 when Miami was forced to take a timeout. They closed with a 6-1 run and a 30-27 victory.

The ‘Canes dominated game three, jumping out to an 11-3 lead without looking back, to win 30-14 and complete the three-game sweep of the Maryland Terrapins.

“I think the momentum change happened late in the second game,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne-Welch said. “They had a lead but we just didn’t go away.”

Michel called the win a “big confidence builder.”

“We were expecting to win the first two [conference games] and we didn’t,” she said. “Our confidence level has picked up.”

The win was big, but to sweep was unexpected.

“I don’t think anyone in this conference expects to sweep anyone,” Lantagne-Welch said. “Maryland is a great team. Not only to win, but to win in three is huge.”

Sunday’s win followed a 3-2 loss to Boston College on Friday.

The Hurricanes return to action on Friday, when they travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers. Their next home game is Friday, October 6 against North Carolina State.

Brian Yates may be contacted at b.yates@umiami.edu.