Miami brings out the brooms against FIU, sweeps cross-town rival for second win of season

Junior Savannah Vach sets a ball during Miami’s loss to Louisville April 1, 2021 at the Knight Sports Complex.
Junior Savannah Vach sets a ball during Miami’s loss to Louisville on April 1, 2021 at the Knight Sports Complex. Photo credit: Josh Halper

Miami volleyball took home its second consecutive win to start the 2021 season, bringing out the brooms and sweeping Florida International University in three straight sets, 25-10, 25-14, 25-22 at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Fl.

The Hurricanes (2-0) built off of their sweep of Tarleton State on Friday morning and recorded their first consecutive pair of sweeps since the 2016 season, when they swept Florida A&M and FIU.

Miami got off to a strong start on Saturday, taking a 19-8 advantage in the first set. FIU (0-2) had no answer for Miami, with UM taking six of the final eight points to win the first set by 15 points.

Saturday’s match was a huge momentum-builder for Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara’s team. Friday’s first set alone featured thirteen ties between the Canes and the Texans, but the Hurricanes bulldozed through the Panthers, only recording one tie with FIU.

Miami started the set on fire, pushing out to a 12-point lead before the first timeout. After a 15-point blowout in the opener, the Canes never looked back, erupting for an 18-3 run to start the second set. While the Panthers narrowed their deficit to 10 points deep into the second frame, third-year middle blocker Janice Leao’s 10th kill of the game sealed the Hurricanes’ 25-14 victory.

FIU showed the most resistance in the third set, cutting into an early Miami run to cut the deficit within two points. The Hurricanes were able to come up with a vital couple of rallies to take home the third set by three points.

After marking a 11-7 Atlantic Coast Conference record last season, Miami is continuously improving in the early stages of the season. Gandara and company are looking for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2018, and the mix of upperclassmen and youth have all contributed to two impressive performances.

Freshman Peyman Yardimci impressed in her second game, with the Turkish outside hitter striking six kills in her second game as a Hurricane. Fellow graduate outside hitter Janet Kalaniuvalu also performed well, recording nine kills in her first start of the season.

The Hurricanes now lead the FIU Invitational with a 2-0 record, and will look to continue their perfect start to the season on Sunday as they host the UMBC Terriers at the Knight Sports Complex at 3 p.m.