VOLLEYBALL: ‘Canes No Match for No. 14 Duke

After dropping their ACC home opener on Friday, the Miami volleyball team was unable to bounce back Sunday afternoon, losing 3-0 to No. 14 Duke at the Knight Sports Complex.

Sophomore Genny Mayhew led the Hurricanes with 16 kills and eight digs, but Miami’s defense was no match for the Blue Devils’ high-powered offense. With the loss, the ‘Canes fall to 8-6 on the season and 2-3 in ACC play.

“Overall, I was a little disappointed in our effort on the defensive end of the ball,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “Offensively we did some nice things. We ran a better offense today, we were able to get a lot more one-on-one opportunities to score but defensively we needed to be able to slow them down.”

In the first game, Duke jumped out to a 20-12 lead. Following a Miami timeout, the ‘Canes were able to rally and cut the deficit to 26-25. They were unable to score again, though, and the Blue Devils took the game 30-25.

Duke dominated the second game, leading an impressive start which produced an early 20-9 lead. Miami came back to within seven points, cutting the lead to 25-18, but the Blue Devils scored five of the final six points and won the game 30-19.

Duke lost no momentum in the third set, cruising to another 30-19 win. Their height advantage proved to be too much for the undersized Hurricanes throughout the match, tallying 64 kills to Miami’s 41.

“Their team was in system on defense and they put tremendous pressure on us throughout the match,” Lantagne Welch said.

Duke had a clear advantage on the offensive end as they were able to move the ball at a very quick and fluid pace. The Blue Devils had four players finish in double-figures, with Rachael Moss and Carrie DeMange notching 17 kills each, and Sue Carls and Jourdan Norman each scoring 10.

“They are a very hard to team to defend,” Lantagne Welch said. “But we have to rise to the occasion.”

The Hurricanes were led by Mayhew and junior Ashley Woods, who had 10 kills and a team-best scoring percentage of .625. Sophomore Cassie Loessberg also contributed with eight digs.

“They [Woods and Mayhew] did an excellent job of scoring against a strong team today,” Lantagne Welch said.

The ‘Canes will conclude their four-match homestand this week when ACC foes Clemson and Georgia Tech come to Coral Gables.

Zack Loss may be contacted at z.loss@umiami.edu.