The University of Miami volleyball team played its first ACC competition of the season Saturday night, and the match did not disappoint. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, in-state rival Florida State came out on top of the four-set thriller.
Miami (10-2, 0-1) battled but couldn’t put the Seminoles away in front of a packed house at the Knight Sports Complex.
“It was set up to be a great match. We had a great crowd, it was loud and we came out firing,” head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said.
Miami did start off strong, winning the first set in relatively comfortable fashion 25-19.
The match included two sets that went into extra points, however, and the Hurricanes found themselves on the short end of both frames, eventually losing the match by set scores of 19-25, 27-25, 27-25 and 25-18.
“Against a really good team it’s hard to fight all the way back and we did, we fought back and we crawled back but it was…too little too late,” Lantagne Welch said.
Despite the loss Miami had five players reach double-digit kills during the contest.
The statistic obviously comes as little consolation to the Hurricanes because of the defeat, but is nevertheless a testament to a well-balanced offense that has been on display the entire season.
“When you’re playing the toughest competition you have to step up in the big moments,” Lantagne Welch said. “We had a lot of good things out there tonight offensively…and that was great to see. We just needed a little bit more obviously.”
Florida State is ranked 15 in the country and is the reigning ACC Champions.
Miami was dealt a big blow towards the end of the third set when junior setter Katie Gallagher went down with an apparent right leg injury.
It wasn’t immediately clear after the match how serious the injury was, but Gallagher was not able to walk off the court under her own power, needing the help of coaches and trainers. She headed to the locker room and did not return.
If Gallagher were to be out for an extended period of time sophomore Nrithya Sundararaman would presumably take over setting duties.
Miami will get a chance to put its first conference loss of the year behind them as the ACC schedule continues later this week. Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia will come to Coral Gables to take on the Hurricanes on Friday night and Sunday afternoon respectively.
“We gotta get back to work on Monday and get ready because challenges just keep coming up at us,” Lantagne Welch sad. “You just have to keep getting everyone better every week.”
Both games will be played at the Knight Sports Complex and can be heard live on 90.5 WVUM.
Adam Berger may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.