Volleyball splits weekend matches

Following a rough road trip that saw the University of Miami volleyball team lose two games, one their first ACC match of the season against Florida State the other a heartbreaker in which they held a two set lead over Notre Dame, the Hurricanes returned home and split their two matches this weekend.

The ‘Canes beat Virginia by a score of 3-1 on Friday night at the Knight Sports Complex, but, in a season that has seen many ups and downs, lost to Virginia Tech by a score of 3-2 on Sunday.

Nevertheless, the weekend was overall a success. Miami was able to win their first in-conference match of the season one week after being dominated by Florida State.

“I think we learned a lot from last week,” said head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch following her team’s victory over Virginia. “We had a courageous team effort tonight, we had to make a couple of adjustments and they just filled in so wonderfully. I’m very proud of that.”

The Hurricanes took the first set of the match against Virginia by a score of 25-22, but lost the second frame 18-25. They headed off the court for the customary mid-game break with the game nodded up at a set apiece.

Then, in what is becoming a theme of playing at home, the Hurricanes returned from the locker room with a new focus and energy. Miami won the remaining two sets by scores of 25-21 respectively to win the match.

“We can’t tell you our secrets,” said senior libero Cassie Loessberg in response to the Hurricanes strong play upon returning from the mid-game break. “We have hiccups here and there…sometimes volleyball is an up and down roller coaster and it’s about consistency. Yeah, we gave away the second [set] but it’s about fighting back after you lose.”

Loessberg, who recently set the University of Miami all-time school record for digs, added to the feat by recording a match-high 27 in the Friday contest.

As for Sunday’s game against Virginia Tech, it was a thriller that included two sets going into extra time. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, they were unable to prevail. Virginia Tech won the match by set scores of 27-29, 25-21, 22-25, 29-27 and 15-11.

Miami will look to rebound from the loss with consistent play this weekend as ACC competition continues. They face off against Clemson on Friday and Georgia Tech on Sunday at the Knight Sports Complex. Both games can be heard on 90.5 FM WVUM.

Adam Berger may be contacted at aberger@themiamihurricane.com