For the third straight season, the University of Miami volleyball team began its season with a victory on its home floor. The Hurricanes (1-0) swept Florida A&M, 3-0, at the James L. Knight Sports Complex Friday night. With the victory, Miami has now won nine consecutive season opening matches.
The Hurricanes improved to 14-2 in season openers and 13-3 in home openers since the program returned to action in 2001.
“I liked the focus,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “I thought we stayed on our side, did what we wanted to do and didn’t pay attention to the score or what they were doing. We wanted to focus on ourselves and I thought we did a pretty good job of that. There were a couple hiccups here and there, and that’s to be expected, but tomorrow we will have another chance to work on that.”
The Canes took the first set against Florida A&M, 25-12, thanks to an efficient attack. Miami hit .389 in the opening set, led by sophomore Anna Haak’s eight kills and 6.36 attack percentage. The Canes also got six kills from junior Olga Strantzali, while setter Haley Templeton dished out 15 assists.
Miami went into the intermission up 2-0 after winning the second set, 25-19. Haak and Strantzali continued to pace the Hurricanes’ attack, combining for 10 kills in the set against the Rattlers.
“I have been waiting for this game since the end of last season,” Strantzali said. “Game after game, we will get better. It’s always good to start with a win because that just gives us more confidence for the next one.”