Sports, Volleyball

Hurricanes prevail in comeback victory over Boston College Eagles

The Cardiac Canes struck again, but this time on the volleyball court at Knight Sports Complex.

After dropping two of the first three sets, Miami was able to grind out a comeback to beat Boston College 3-2 Nov. 9.

Senior outside hitter Olga Strantzali had a team-high 12 kills and 16 digs, leading the Hurricanes to a 25-19, 22-25, 17-25, 25-23, 15-10 victory.

UM improves to a record of 16-5 on the season and 10-5 in ACC play.

After the Canes jumped out to an early 8-3 lead in the opening set, the Eagles tied the score at 15; the first of many punches they would throw that night. But outside hitter Elizaveta Lukianova recorded two big kills and a key block to give Miami enough separation to take the first set.

“When you’re making the play and winning the points, you start feeling good,” said Lukianova, a redshirt freshman from Omsk, Russia. “When you’re losing the points, it feels really bad of course, and sometimes things start happening in your head. That’s frustrating.”

Lukianova, who is often used as a substitution for fellow international player Strantzali, recorded eight kills.

Sets two and three provided a challenge for the Canes. The pace slowed down, and Miami quickly found themselves at a deficit after dropping both sets.

“BC fought for every single point,” said freshman Cameron Dobbs, who recorded 11 kills. “They’re a great team, and they really challenged us for sure.”

Dobbs said the change in the game’s pace threw off the Canes more than they would have liked, but she knew the team had to fight through the difficult moments.

Things started to click for Miami late in the fourth set. The Hurricanes found themselves on the brink of a loss down 20-16, but it took one Strantzali serve to ignite the team. Suddenly, the Canes had a 22-20 lead and their rhythm back.

“She has a good serve, but today was really good,” UM coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said after the game. “It definitely was a huge factor in games four and five.”

Strantzali returned to the baseline in the decisive fifth set and helped Miami pick up a 7-6 lead. The Hurricanes held their advantage from that point.

“It was an ugly win for sure, but we just kept going,” Dobbs said. “We had everyone behind our back the whole time. It was a huge gym and team effort for us to get that win.”

“We played good enough to win, which is not our standard, but is one of the things we are trying to do,” Gandara said.

BC falls to an overall record of 6-19 and 3-12 in conference play.

The Hurricanes will celebrate Senior Day in their final home game against the Syracuse Orange at noon Nov. 12. After that, they will take one last road trip before the ACC Tournament.

Miami currently ranks No. 4 in the conference standings behind NC State, Pittsburgh and Louisville as the race for tournament seeding heats up.

November 10, 2017


Austin Pert

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