Squad splits two ACC matches

The University of Miami women’s volleyball team traveled to North Carolina this weekend and split a pair of conference matches defeating North Carolina State Friday night 3-1 then falling to the University of North Carolina Saturday night 3-0. Miami is now 9-11 on the season and 3-8 in ACC play.

Both the Canes and NC State came into Friday night’s game struggling to win. The Canes had lost six in a row and the Wolfpack had been in a prolonged drought, dropping 15 straight matches.

“It is great to get back on the winning track,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “We got a lot more production from the middle tonight and Ciara Michel was at the center of that effort. She had a big match offensively in addition to chipping in with some blocks as well.”

Michel led the team with 16 kills, while freshman standout Katie Gallagher finished with 52 assists, seven kills and seven digs. Freshman Maria Andersson recorded her third double-double of the season finishing with 16 digs and 11 kills.

After losing game one 30-17, the lady Canes regrouped and won the next three games 30-28, 30-26 and 30-25 respectively. It was the Hurricanes’ first win since Sept. 21 at Virginia.

“We made some nice changes in game one that ultimately led to the change of flow in the match,” Lantagne Welch said.
Miami exceeded NC State with 11 digs, 21 kills and 22 assists.

Unfortunately, they could not carry their momentum into Saturday night’s match against the UNC Tar Heels.

Gallagher once again had an impressive night in the assists column ending the match with 38. She also had 10 kills. Sophomore Genny Mayhew, Michel and junior Bridget Bomhack were valiant in the effort and finished in double-figure kills with 12, 11 and 11, respectively.

“I thought we played much better volleyball tonight but unfortunately it wasn’t enough,” Lantagne Welch said. “Our passing crew of Cassie [Loessberg], Bridget [Bomhack], Genny [Mayhew], Maria [Andersson], and Michelle [Bruin] was outstanding.”

The Canes lost a tough first game, 30-24, that set the tone for the Tar Heels’ sweep. The score was tied at 22 when North Carolina pulled away and went on an 8-0 run putting the game away by a count of 30-22. The third game was just as intense. With the scored tied at 25, UM attempted to stop UNC by tying the game at 30 all. The Tar Heels went on to win the next two points to complete the sweep 32-30.

“We need to develop a killer instinct,” Lantagne Welch said. “When we get a lead, we need to learn to finish things off.”

Justin Antweil may be contacted at j.antweil@umiami.edu.