The Canes went 0-3 in their first venture on the road this season at the Missouri State Tournament over the weekend. Although the team lost all its matches, the Canes put forth a valiant effort. Coach Jose Gandara’s squad took Oral Roberts to four games and both Missouri State and Marquette to five games before being defeated.
The strong effort is reflected in the team’s offensive strides and proves once again Miami’s depth at the hitting position. Sophomore setter Haley Templeton had 136 assists on the weekend and the team had a total of 171 kills. In the Friday night match versus Missouri State, Alexis Mourning, Kelsie Groot, Olga Strantzali and Taylor Scott all had over 10 kills. On Saturday, Strantzali led the team with a whopping 24 kills in the Marquette game followed up by 14 in the final match against Oral Roberts.
Coach Gandara played around with the starting lineup during the tournament, something he says will continue for the entirety of the season. In the Marquette match, Gandara put in freshman Lucia Pampana to play for Sakile Simmons. The Italian native made her college debut in the Florida A&M game at the Hurricane Invitational on Aug. 29. The games versus Marquette and Oral Roberts were her first chances at playing since that debut. Pampana recorded eight kills over the two games, raising her season total to nine.
Miami (3-3) has two more tournaments coming up before the start of conference play. The Canes will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to take on Purdue and Louisiana State for the LSU Tournament on Sept. 12 and 13. The team will be back home in Coral Gables on Sept. 17 to battle Central Florida and Seattle University in the FIU/Miami Challenge.
Featured image courtesy HurricaneSports.com