Nov. 15, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami volleyball team had three players in double-digit kills and did just about everything right in a 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-22) sweep of the University of Notre Dame Friday night at Knight Sports Complex.
The Irish defeated Miami, 3-1, at Purcell Pavilion Oct. 18, but couldn't pull the feat off twice as the Hurricanes pounded home 52 kills, hit .357, served up five aces, dug 54 balls and blocked seven Irish attacks.
Junior outside hitter Savanah Leaf led the way for the Hurricanes with 17 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Misty Ma'A was right behind with 11 kills and 13 digs and senior Alex Johnson rounded out the double-figure kill's trio as she had 10 kills and seven digs. Junior Emani Sims posted eight kills and hit a match-high .667, while junior Alexis Mourning totaled five kills in 10 chances to hit .500. In all, five players tallied five or more kills and six or more digs. Both Johnson and senior Ryan Shaffer each served up two aces to pace the squad.
Notre Dame was led by junior Jeni Houser, who totaled a team-high 11 kills while hitting an impressive .450. Senior Nicole Smith added six (.333 A%). Senior setter Maggie Brindock had 23 assists, four kills (.308 A%) and five digs.
The Irish struggled to produce kills as they totaled 36 on the night, and also struggled at the net with just two blocks.
After leading at several points early in the first set including holding a 9-6 advantage, Notre Dame couldn't hang on as Miami (16-10, 9-7 ACC) took the lead for good at 11-10. The Irish kept the margin within two or three for much of the rest of the set, but gave up two consecutive kills by Leaf and Sims to push the lead to 22-18. After a Notre Dame timeout and Hurricane service error made the score 22-19, the Irish produced a service error of their own to give Miami the serve back. A Sims gave the U set point and a Ma'A kill two points later gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead.
Notre Dame shook off set one early, as it held a 7-5 lead after a kill from junior Toni Alugbue. However, the Irish couldn't maintain the lead as Miami went on a 6-0 run to turn the tables. From there, the Hurricanes maintained at least a five point advantage, eventually ending the set on a 6-0 run.
Miami closed out the match in set three, overcoming a late 17-15 deficit with a strong offense that tallied nine kills over the match's final 15 points. After a kill by Sims forced a Notre Dame timeout at 23-22, a kill by Ma'A and a double-block by Johnson and Sims gave Miami the sweep.
The Irish (11-15, 5-10 ACC) continue their Sunshine State road swing at 12 p.m. Sunday as they face off with No. 22 Florida State.
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director