Sept. 26, 2014
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Behind 16 kills and 10 digs from all-Atlantic Coast Conference performer Savanah Leaf, the University of Miami swept the University of Notre Dame, 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-13), Friday night at the James L. Knight Complex in the first ACC match of the 2014 season for either team.
The Irish (3-9, 0-1 ACC) had trouble stopping Leaf all night as she hit .517 for the match. She also added three service aces and two blocks to go along with her double-double. Setter Haley Templeton primarily was responsible for getting ball to Leaf, as she finished with 27 assists, three service aces and four digs.
Behind Leaf, the Hurricanes hit .271 and pounded home 37 kills. They also had 10 service aces and seven blocks. Notre Dame, meanwhile, only tallied 19 kills as it hit .000. The Irish also struggled at the net, totaling just one block.
“Savanah (Leaf) was phenomenal and is a very strong outside hitter for them,” said head coach Debbie Brown. “She was very efficient tonight and showed a lot of different shots so it wasn’t like we could just take one thing away. She hit over us, she hit through us and their setter did a good job of getting her the ball. She was the hot hitter and they went to her often. We didn’t have an answer for her.”
Freshman Sam Fry led Notre Dame with six kills and a .600 attack percentage.
The Irish leave Miami Saturday and head to Tallahassee, Florida where they will meet No. 6 Florida State (12-0, 1-0 ACC) in a 1 p.m. Sunday match. The Seminoles swept No. 12 North Carolina Friday night, 25-22, 25-22, 32-30. Fans can follow the contest through the live stats link on UND.com.
The Irish were tied as late as 8-8 in set one, but fell victim to a 10-2 run that gave Miami a decisive 18-10 lead. After that early tie, the Hurricanes ended the set on a 17-6 run to win, 25-14. Leaf had a brilliant first set with seven kills and a .778 attack percentage. Notre Dame mustered just six kills in the opening frame in hitting .031.
Miami came out hot in set two as it jumped out to a 9-4 lead, forcing a Notre Dame timeout. The Irish trimmed the lead to three at 12-9, but the Hurricanes answered with a 9-2 run to extend their lead to 21-11. Notre Dame tried making a comeback behind three kills in four points from Fry, but the Irish couldn’t get closer than 22-17 before Miami closed out the match with three consecutive points.
The Hurricanes closed out the match in convincing fashion with a dominating third set. Miami opened up an 8-1 lead after rattling off seven-consecutive points behind the serving of Templeton. However, Notre Dame trimmed the lead to four at 10-6 to force a Miami timeout. Later in the set, the Irish cut the margin to three at 12-9, but a 4-0 run moved the score to 16-9 in favor of the home team. From there, Miami inched closer and closer to victory, eventually taking a 10-point lead at 22-12. Two kills by Leaf in the final four points gave the Hurricanes the match victory. Miami attacked at a .300 clip for the set, while Notre Dame was held in the negatives at -.125.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director