Hurricanes topple two Virginia teams

The University of Miami women’s volleyball team pulled out two ACC victories against Virginia Tech and Virginia this weekend. Both victories came in the decisive game five. The ‘Canes increased their record to 8-4 (2-1 ACC) and picked up their first road wins of the season.

“I’m proud of the way our team battled to pick up a couple of five-game wins in back-to-back nights on the road,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said.

With the bitter taste of defeat still lingering from the loss to Florida State, the ‘Canes went into the Virginia Tech game looking to rebound. Sophomore Genny Mayhew started and ended game one with a kill that set the tone for the entire match. The ‘Canes won game one 30-22, but Virginia Tech responded with intensity and took game two 30-25.

The Hurricanes stepped up their offensive in game three, which included 20 kills, to secure a 30-25 victory.

The frustrated Hokies wouldn’t back down in game four. Virginia Tech pulled together and won 30-23.

The Hurricanes came out determined to win the match in game five and built an early 8-1 lead. The Hokies answered with six straight points to close the gap to 8-7. The ‘Canes finished strong in game five (15-10) to clench the match.

This was the Hurricanes first ACC win of the season and also their first victory in a five game match.

“We are thrilled to get a win on the road in a tough gym to play in,” Lantagne Welch said.

Mayhew ended the match with a career-high 26 kills and freshman Katie Gallagher once again reached the 50 assist mark this season and had 16 digs. Senior Ciara Michel finished with eight kills and eight total blocks. Sophomore Cassie Loessberg led the team with 24 digs.

The ‘Canes were able to bruise the Hokies at the net resulting in a season-high 14 total team blocks.

“I thought we did a good job of taking them out of rhythm offensively by being big and playing effectively at the net,” Lantagne Welch said.

Continuing their Virginia trip, the ‘Canes took on University of Virginia the following night. The first game was deadlocked until Virginia slipped past the ‘Canes, 35-33.

The Hurricanes regrouped in games two and three and won 30-28 in both matches.

Michel capped game two with a kill and Mayhew ended game three with two kills in a row.

The Cavaliers bounced back and won game four 30-27, due to eight attack errors that proved fatal for the ‘Canes.

For the second straight night the ‘Canes found themselves in a decisive game five. The Hurricanes trailed early, but after a ‘Canes timeout Miami sailed past Virginia 15-8.

Michel had a double double with a season-high 20 kills and 11 total blocks. Gallagher set a new career-high with 62 assists. Loessberg lead the team with 23 digs and senior Michelle Bruin added 16.

Mayhew recorded 25 kills and a career-high 20 digs.

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at