Freshman middle hitter Paige Hill finished her amazing debut weekend by winning the Tournament MVP award. Against the Bruins, she recorded another eight blocks (two solo and six assisted), to go with five kills and four digs. For the week, Hill had 23 blocks (two solo and 21 assisted), an average of 2.30 per set. She also led the RedHawks with 28 kills and a .407 hitting percentage. Joining Hill on the All-Tournament Team were junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley and sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle.
“I was very pleased with our style of competing,” said head coach Carolyn Condit. “Our blocking was strong, our serving stabilized us and the team competed with a resilient mentality all weekend. This is a significant tournament win which gives clarity to the hard work that is still ahead to prepare for conference play.”
Tied at four in the first set, a solo block and a kill from Ingle, along with a service ace from senior libero Madison Hardy were part of a 6-1 run that put Miami in front, 10-5. Belmont would close the score to within three at 9-12, but the RedHawks took control with an 8-4 run that made it 20-13. The Bruins would make another run towards the end of the set, but two kills from freshman outside hitter Maris Below off of freshman setter Krista Brakauskas’ assists would help finish off a 25-21 win.
Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney had three kills during the first half of set two as Miami took a 14-10 lead. Kills from Hill, Ingle and junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk were part of a 4-1 run that put the ‘Hawks up 18-11 and forced a Bruin timeout. Out of the break Belmont would cut the deficit to five, but kills from Ingle and Hill, along with several Belmont attack errors helped Miami close out a 25-20 victory.
The Bruins jumped to an 8-4 lead in set three to force an early RedHawk timeout. Trailing 6-11, Hill put down another kill and assisted on three blocks as part of a 7-1 run that put Miami in front, 13-12. Belmont went back in front 15-14, but two kills from Chaney, a kill from Hardy and a solo block by Hill helped the Red and White take control at 21-17. The Bruins called timeout to try and stop the momentum, but Miami scored the next four points to finish off a 25-17 win.
Chaney led the RedHawks with nine kills. Below had eight kills and a .467 hitting percentage. Riley led Miami with 15 assists, while junior libero Tori Clifford had 12 digs. The RedHawks hit .272 for the match, while holding Belmont to a .047 hitting percentage.
Miami returns to action next weekend when it hosts the annual Miami Invitational at Millett Hall. The RedHawks will take on Evansville on Friday at 7 p.m. and Northern Kentucky on Saturday at 7 p.m.