The Hurricanes women’s volleyball team brought its NCAA Tournament run to a close in four sets against the eighth-ranked Florida Gators Saturday.
Miami lost in the second round 3-1 and finished the season 22-9 overall and 14-4 in the ACC.
“I am so proud of our team,” Head Coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “From where we started to where we are today, the way we played today in this environment against [Florida], hitting some of our best numbers all year, is all we worked for and all you can expect in a match like this.”
The Canes took an early 6-1 lead in the first set, causing Florida to have to slow down Miami’s momentum. Miami took the first set 25-13 with the help of senior Savanah Leaf, redshirt sophomore Kelsie Groot and freshman Haley Templeton.
The last three sets were hard fought and close. This was not enough to hold off the Gators, who won three in a row to take the game.
Leaf, the ACC Player of the Year, closed out her career at UM by earning her 13th double-double this season. She posted 20 kills, 10 digs and hit .381.
“I just wanted to hit as aggressive as I could, and I think if I worried about how tall they were or how well they’ve done this year, I wouldn’t have done so well, so I think just focusing on myself and my own game helped me a lot,” Leaf said.
Groot tallied 11 kills and tied Leaf with a team-best .381 attack percentage and leading the team with 17 digs, making her fifth double-double this year.
The Canes are 3-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. They won their first NCAA Tournament match since 2011, when they beat UCF in five sets Friday. It was also the first NCAA Tournament victory in Gandara’s head coaching career.