Miami volleyball starts season with consecutive sweeps

Freshman defensive specialist Hanna Bissler bumps the ball during the Canes’ game versus UMBC in the Knight Sports Complex on Aug. 29, 2021.
Freshman defensive specialist Hanna Bissler bumps the ball during the Canes’ game versus UMBC in the Knight Sports Complex on Aug. 29, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Miami volleyball started its 2022 season with a convincing win over Bryant. The ladies began their three-game stretch in Hempstead, N.Y. against the Rhode Island-based team. After being knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the Round of 16 by the Florida Gators more than eight months ago, the Hurricanes looked to start the new year on the right note, tallying a straight-set sweep of the Bulldogs.

In the first set, Miami got off to a blistering start. With a slew of kills and aces, the ladies rushed to a 9-4 lead. The margin remained in the teens of the set until Bryant mounted a comeback with six points in a row to take the lead, 20-18.

But as quickly as the lead came, it disappeared again. The Canes quickly tied the score at 21 apiece before closing out the set, 25-23. Redshirt junior Angela Grieve delivered the final blow, with senior Savannah Vach assisting.

In the second set the two teams remained relatively even, but Miami held the slight edge. The lead for Miami grew as assists by Savannah Vach began piling on. The Hurricanes would close out the second set in comfortable fashion, 25-19.

Looking to avoid the sweep, Bryant came out swinging in the third set, jumping to a 6-0 lead. UM remained unfazed and quickly crawled back into the set.

The two teams became level at 11 apiece before Miami claimed the lead once and for all. The Hurricanes completed their route of the Bulldogs with a 25-18 score in the final set.

The Canes continued to showcase their dominance with their second sweep of the day against Hofstra.

The first set started back and forth between the two teams until Miami went on a 4-0 run in the middle of the set to go up 15-9 and gain all the momentum. The Hurricanes played a fantastic set on the defensive side, holding Hofstra to a .081 hitting percentage.

Not only did they shine defensively, as Miami’s 12 kills in just 21 attempts resulted in a .429 hitting percentage.

A 7-1 scoring run and a kill by Angela Grieve from Savannah Vach’s tenth assist closed out the first set, with Miami taking it 25-15.

“We were able to play different line-ups and it was nice to see the team compete,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said.

Miami came out on fire to start the second set, going up 7-3, which led to a timeout by Hofstra. The Hurricanes flourished on defense once again, limiting Hofstra to only nine kills on 23 total attempts. After a service error by Hoftra’s Florencia Wolkowyski, the score was brought to 20-11 as Miami put the finishing touches on taking the second straight set.

With only one win left to secure the match, Miami came out looking to finish off the Pride quickly by starting the set, 8-0.

Miami showed off its many offensive weapons with a .358 hitting percentage, slightly worse than its commanding first set.

As the match was coming to an end, Hofstra was able to make a slight push, which cut the deficit to just five points. But with the score at 24-18, a kill from freshman Flormarie Heredia Colon ended the game, resulting in Miami’s second sweep of the day.

UM played an unbelievable match on defense. Hofstra’s 33 out of 101 total attack attempts resulted in a very low .129 hitting percentage. While playing exceptionally well on defense, the Canes also played an exceptional offensive game.

Sophomore outside hitter Peyman Yardimici led the team with nine kills while accounting for six digs and two block assists. Her leadership on the offensive side helped the team to put together a .358 hitting percentage.

Throughout the match, Miami held an advantage in kills at 39-33 while also posting a much higher hitting percentage at .358 compared to Hofstra’s .129. Miami also out-assisted Hofstra, 35-30.

With two dominant wins today, the Canes look to continue their winning ways Saturday against Niagara at 11 a.m.

Bennett Bluh also contributed to this story.