Winning has become somewhat of a trend for Canes volleyball this weekend, and their unstoppable momentum carried over into Sunday’s match versus the UMBC Retrievers.
After sweeping the first two matches of the FIU Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Miami went on to record its third sweep of the season in as many matches, winning by scores of 25-8, 25-17 and 25-11.
The Hurricanes’ offense was dominant right out of the gates, erupting for a 10-3 run to begin action in the Knight Sports Complex in Coral Gables. By the set’s end, Miami’s 13 kills in 26 attempts were more than enough to put away the Retrievers, who only registered four kills.
Redshirt sophomore Angela Grieve recorded four of her team-high 12 kills in the match opener and played a significant role in Miami’s .423 hitting percentage in the set.
The Retrievers displayed a much more valiant effort in the second set, keeping the game within a handful of points despite never leading by more than two. However, with the score at 13-10 in favor of the Hurricanes, a 4-0 run led by a three-kill streak from junior middle blocker Janice Leao gave Miami a seven-point lead.
While UMBC was able to narrow the deficit to four at 18-14, Miami was able to capitalize on four errors from the Retrievers and steal a 25-17 victory.
The fight UMBC displayed in the second set quickly dwindled in the match finale after the Hurricanes overpowered the Retrievers with an early 11-2 run led by three kills from Grieve. While UMBC posted a match-high hitting percentage of .138 in the final set, so did Miami.In 33 attempts, the Canes delivered 16 kills and surrendered one error to send the Retrievers home in dominant fashion.
While the final scores speak for themselves, UM overpowered UMBC in nearly every aspect of the match, tallying double-digit advantages over them in match points, kills, aces, assists and digs.
“This was a really good way to end the weekend,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “It felt like a professional performance for all three matches. We learned a lot about what we can do, what needs work and, ultimately, that we can be pretty good.”
With a perfect, undefeated start to their 2021 campaign, the Canes now look to take their hot stretch into next weekend as they face off against USF in a two-game weekend series on Friday, Sept. 3 in Tampa, Fl. and Sunday, Sept. 5 in Coral Gables.