Miami volleyball sweeps fourth match of season, improves to 5-0 with win over USF

Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Angela Grieve and junior middle blocker Janice Leao prepare for a serve during Miami's match against USF at the Knight Sports Complex on Sept. 5, 2021.
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Angela Grieve and junior middle blocker Janice Leao prepare for a serve during Miami's match against USF at the Knight Sports Complex on Sept. 5, 2021. Photo credit: Katrina Nguyen

The undefeated Miami volleyball team prevailed against the University of South Florida Sunday afternoon (1-4) in three sets at the Knight Sports Complex to put the finishing touches on Miami’s second series of the season.

After winning 3-1 on Friday, the Hurricanes won a competitive, back-and-forth match versus the USF Bulls, winning all three sets 25-15, 25-23 and 25-23. With the win, Miami improved to a 5-0 record to start the season, the program’s best start since the Hurricanes went 6-0 in 2017.

“There’s a sense of resiliency to this group,” head coach Jose ‘Keno’ Gandara said. “This group is not a fragile group. We can coach them hard, and they can be in tough spots, but they solve problems and make good stuff happen.”

Miami won the first set comfortably, 25-15. The Hurricanes had 16 kills and five attack errors in 35 total attempts for a hitting percentage of .314 in the first set, while USF had seven kills and five attack errors in 28 total attempts for a hitting percentage of .071. Redshirt sophomore Angela Grieve continued to impress in this series and registered the set-winning kill, one of her team-high 16 match kills.

Juniors Janice Leao and Savannah Vach block the ball during Miami’s game against USF in the Knight Sports Complex on Sept. 5, 2021.
Juniors Janice Leao and Savannah Vach block the ball during Miami’s game against USF in the Knight Sports Complex on Sept. 5, 2021. Photo credit: Katrina Nguyen

The final two sets, however, proved to be a lot more competitive than the first.

Despite Miami escaping with a win, the second set began with a 7-0 run for the Bulls, but Miami found itself back in the game after a 15-8 run. From that point on, the two teams were nearly evenly-matched until Miami broke through with a game-winning kill from freshman Peyman Yardimci.

While USF posted a greater number of kills and higher attack percentage than Miami in the second set, the Bulls’ eight attack errors proved to be the difference as Miami only registered six.

Following the trend of the second set, the match finale was also fought till the end.

USF went on a torrid 11-5 run to start the third set, but the Bulls could not hold Miami from coming back. Late in the set, USF had a comfortable 21-15 lead, but a 6-0 run by the Hurricanes evened the score and Miami proceeded to score the next four out of six points in the game.

“So far, we’ve passed all the tests,” Gandara said. “We lost a set on Friday and hadn’t done that yet, and we responded. [Sunday], we’re down big twice and we made the comebacks. So far, so good.”

The Hurricanes are now set to compete in the Texas State Invitational against Texas State on Friday, Sept. 10 and Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The Hurricanes celebrate after the winning point in their match against USF on Sept. 5, 2021. The Canes swept the Bulls 3-0, maintaining their undefeated record.
The Hurricanes celebrate after the winning point in their match against USF on Sept. 5, 2021. The Canes swept the Bulls 3-0, maintaining their undefeated record. Photo credit: Katrina Nguyen