‘Canes volleyball brushes past St. John’s for fourth straight sweep

Miami volleyball players huddle during its match against St. John's in Las Vegas on Sept. 2, 2022.
Miami volleyball players huddle during its match against St. John's in Las Vegas on Sept. 2, 2022. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

The ‘Canes volleyball team downed the St. John’s Red Storm, 3-0, on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas at the Rebel Challenge to remain undefeated. The University of Miami has now recorded four consecutive sweeps to open the season for the first time in program history, bringing its total score against opponents to 12-0 on the year.

Like their previous wins, the Hurricanes (4-0) were powered by stellar performances from redshirt junior Angela Grieve and senior Savannah Vach.

“Today’s match was a great start to the weekend. St. John’s is a very physical and experienced team, so we had a good plan going into the match,” head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “We served well and put the pressure on them from the serving line, which simplified things for our defense.”

In the opening set, St. John’s, which hadn’t dropped a game this year, got off to a hot start. It was not intimidated by the ‘Canes’ undefeated record, as it took an early lead.

Both teams went back and forth through the opening 22 points, as the score sat level at 11 apiece.

UM then grabbed five of the next six points to take the largest lead of the match, which held until St. John’s went on a run of its own, erasing the deficit and jumping ahead 21-19. However, the Hurricanes would not be denied, battling back to tie the match at 24, before claiming the set, 26-24, on a lethal strike by Grieve.

“Our offense worked very well today because we were spreading the other team’s defense, which was opening up the block and court for our other hitters,” Grieve said.

With the momentum of a clutch first-set performance fueling the ‘Canes, they snagged the first eight points of the second set and later led 21-14. From there, Miami got hot, scoring four straight points to close the set in commanding fashion, 25-14.

St. John’s responded to begin the third set, though, taking a 10-4 lead. However, unlike the ‘Canes, it couldn’t hold on. Miami tied it at 16 and then went ahead permanently. The Hurricanes won nine of the last 10 points, taking the third set, 25-17, to keep its winning streak alive and well.

Vach paced the team with 28 assists while freshman Naylani Feliciano claimed five of her own. Grieve collected 13 kills and sophomore Peyman Yardimci had four aces. The ‘Canes showed their discipline as a team, having only eight attack errors compared to St. John’s 22.

“Offensively, we passed well and Savannah [Vach] ran a great offense that got our hitters in rhythm,” Gandara said. “It was a really good day overall … on both sides of the ball.”

The Hurricanes look to maintain their perfect record against Weber State on Saturday at 6:00 pm in Las Vegas.