Volleyball continues its hot streak, sweeps weekend matches

The University of Miami volleyball team finished off its season-long home stand by winning all five matches over a three-week span.

Miami (19-2, 7-2) sits in second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference behind reigning champion Clemson (15-5, 7-2). The squad has now won six in a row overall and its last 12 at the Knight Sports Complex.

On Friday night, the Canes swept N.C. State and improved to 9-0 all-time against the Wolfpack (9-15, 3-6).

Freshman outside hitter Lane Carico, senior middle blocker Angelica Ellis and sophomore setter Katie Gallagher recorded kills to start the set and jump the Canes out to an early 7-1 lead before N.C. State burnt a timeout. The Hurricanes never trailed in the first set and looked dominant in the next two.

“N.C. State has been an up and down team,” Gallagher said. “This team has upset a lot of good teams this year and we just wanted to come out with a lot of energy and prove we were the better team.”

As a team, the Canes tallied 10 service aces compared to the Wolfpack’s two.

Libero Cassie Loessberg led the team in digs with 22, while Gallagher dished out 29 assists amd chipped in with seven digs and three service aces.

Saturday night’s match, however, took four sets for Miami to beat the Tar Heels, 20-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23.

Going into the match, UNC (11-9, 5-4) was ranked first in the ACC in digs.

For the seventh time this year, UM dropped the first set and battled back to win.

Junior outside hitter Genny Mayhew and Carico each recorded double-doubles as the Canes outserved the Tar Heels 8-3. On the season, Miami has 54 more service aces than their opponents.

Fatigue may have played a factor for North Carolina, who won a five-set match Friday night against Florida State and traveled overnight.

Miami now heads on the road to face Virginia (12-9, 4-5) at 7 p.m. Friday and Virginia Tech (16-4, 7-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at jantweil@themiamihurricane.com.