VOLLEYBALL: Miami splits weekend series against Va., Va. Tech

The Miami volleyball squad welcomed the Virginia Cavaliers into the Knight Sports Complex Friday night and lost three games to one, then bounced back and defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 3-2 on Saturday.

The Canes finished the weekend with a 10-13 record overall and a 4-10 mark in the ACC.

On Friday, Miami jumped out to an early lead in game one, going up 19-14 over the Cavaliers. However, after a Virginia timeout, it was all downhill for the Canes. They were outscored 16-5 the rest of the way and lost 30-24.

The Cavaliers dominated game two, winning 30-21. Miami never led as Virginia was in control throughout.

Game three was a different story. The Canes led the whole way en route to a 30-24 victory.

Miami looked to continue their comeback, but that effort fell short in a very close game four. Virginia eventually won the game, 30-28, and the match, 3-1.

Sophomore Genny Mayhew led the Canes with 17 kills while senior Ciara Michel had 14 kills. Katie Gallagher added 50 assists.

“I thought we put forth a strong effort,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “But we have to get tough right at the end. We need that big playmaker, a wow dig, a great pass, or a great block.”

Miami had little time to dwell on Friday’s game, as Virginia Tech came in the next night. Game one was a back and forth affair that set the tone for the night, as both teams came out attacking early and with a lot of energy. Virginia Tech went on a 6-0 run near the middle of the game and coasted 30-19.

Miami began game two with a service error, but didn’t let that phase them, going up 12-6 as the Hokies called for time.
Although the Hokies were eventually able to tie it up at 21, the Canes held on to win 30-25.

Virginia Tech opened up game three on a 4-0 run. UM battled back and grabbed their first lead at 9-8.

The rest of the game was very intense, as the teams alternated points, neither one being able to generate much of a run. Miami finally ended the deadlock by scoring the last two points, taking the game 31-29.

With the crowd on their feet, Miami went on an early 5-0 run in game four to go ahead 11-9, and added a 4-0 run later on to go up 19-16. Michel recorded five kills to try and help the Canes finish off the Hokies. However, Virginia Tech went on a late-game run of their own and pulled out the 30-28 victory, bringing the match to a decisive game five.

Only playing to 15, Miami used a pair of 3-0 runs to set the tone and, after the earlier tight games, cruised to a 15-7 win, taking the match.

“Winning makes everyone feel better,” Lantagne Welch said. “We got in a rhythm and had a lot of offensive options.”

Joey Held may be contacted at j.held1@umiami.edu.