Canes Volleyball (4-0) continued its winning streak Friday evening after defeating the University of South Florida Bulls in Tampa (1-3) by a match score of 3-1.
Although the Bulls put an end to Miami’s 11-set win streak, the Canes worked together and played an extremely strong game.
“It may seem a little odd but I really like tonight’s win. We were so far from perfect, but we weren’t fragile,” head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. This is a grownup group, in spite of nine newcomers. They make it fun to compete and I’m really honored I get to do this with them.”
The Hurricanes prevailed in the first two sets, winning by scores of 25-19 and 25-18.
With a tied score of 16-16 in the opening set, Miami dominated the court by scoring five consecutive points before closing out the set 25-19.
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Angela Grieve stood out in the first set as she registered an impressive six kills to push Miami towards an early set win.
The score remained much closer in the second set. However, Miami quickly became dominant and pulled away with a 19-14 lead.
Late in the set, graduate student and outside hitter Janet Kalaniuvalu registered a couple of kills to pad Miami’s lead and junior outside hitter Kennedy Prince got the final kill, ending the set 25-18.
As the Hurricanes looked to earn their fourth straight sweep to open the 2021 season, the Bulls had other plans in mind. While the Canes kept the match close throughout, the Bulls ultimately came out on top, winning by a score of 25-23.
After losing their first set of the season, the Hurricanes came back with a vengeance in the fourth and final set of the match.
Miami rose to the occasion in the fourth set and hit the ground running with an early 7-2 lead.
Freshman outside hitter Nylah Anderson was on fire throughout the set, registering six kills in her debut game for the Hurricanes.
Reverting back to their dominant selves, Miami pulled away with a 25-15 victory to earn their fourth straight win of the season.
In the match, junior middle blocker Janice Leao matched her career-high in blocks with eight, while senior libero Priscilla Hernandez’s match-high 17 digs were critical in Miami claiming and holding leads throughout the evening.
Junior setter Savannah Vach had her first double-double of the season, scoring a season-high 38 assists to go along with 12 digs.
Despite only hitting .149 as a team, Miami’s defense was able to hold USF’s offense to a .044 hitting percentage and keep them off the scoreboard early and often.
As a result, for the first time since 2017, the Canes have opened their season on a four-match victory streak.
The Hurricanes hope to keep that stretch alive as they face USF in the final game of the USF/UM tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Knight Sports Complex.