The Hurricanes’ volleyball team lost to ACC rival Louisville 3-1 in Kentucky on Sunday afternoon.
The teams came in ranked fourth and fifth in the conference, respectively, so it was no surprise how competitive the match was from start to finish. After winning the first set 25-22, Miami dropped the final three sets 25-19, 25-15 and 25-21.
The Canes (7-5, 0-2) started off slow with poor passing early on in the first set, but it didn’t take them long to pick up the pace. Despite the game going back and forth throughout the set, Miami consistently kept a two-to-three-point lead over the Cardinals.
Miami took advantage of its strengths, often moving the ball up the middle to get kills. Sophomore outside hitter Olga Strantzali was relatively neutralized in the opening set, largely due to Louisville’s game plan, but other players stepped up in her place to take the set 25-22.
The Hurricanes started off sloppy in the second set, but they maintained their ferocity throughout. The Cardinals did a great job limiting Strantzali as well as keeping Miami’s defense on its toes. Louisville’s aggressiveness caught the Canes off guard, frequently tipping the ball towards the end of the set for key kills. The Cards won the second set 25-19 to split the best-of-five series at one apiece.
The Cardinals (8-4, 2-0) started the third set exactly where they left off by being aggressive on offense. The Canes had their least effective set here, trailing the entire time, and ultimately lost 25-15.
Substitutes gave the Hurricanes a spark to start the fourth set, but the inconsistency of the lineups ended up causing confusion for the defense. Miami showed some strong effort towards the end of the set, even taking a 19-17 lead, but ultimately dropped it 25-21.
Redshirt junior outside hitter Kelsie Groot led the Canes with 13 kills, and senior defender Kalysta White had a team-high 11 digs. Sophomore setter Haley Templeton showed her defensive prowess with five blocks, and senior middle blocker Alexis Mourning led Miami with a .368 hitting percentage.
The Canes face off against Georgia Tech in their ACC home opener at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Knight Sports Complex.