Hurricanes Host the Orange and Green Challenge

Hurricanes Host the Orange and Green Challenge

Sept. 10, 2003

CORAL GABLES, Fla. ( – –

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The University of Miami volleyball team returns to action this weekend, hosting Columbia, George Mason and Northwestern at the Orange and Green Challenge at the Knight Sports Complex on Sept. 11-13.

The Hurricanes (5-2) will kick off the three-day event on Thursday evening against George Mason (3-4) at 7 p.m. UM will face Columbia (0-0) on Friday morning at 10 a.m. before squaring off against Northwestern (4-2) at 7 p.m. This will mark the first meeting between Miami and the three schools.

Miami enters the weekend after splitting four matches last weekend at the Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Ariz. The Hurricanes downed Rhode Island and San Diego State three games to one each before falling to then No. 10 Arizona, 3-0, snapping UM’s undefeated record. The Hurricanes then fell to No. 20 Santa Clara in five games, 3-2.

The Orange and Green Challenge will be the first for a young Columbia team and the first with new Head Coach Monica Holmes at the helm. The Lions enter the 2003 season with hopes of replacing three-time All-Ivy selection Kathy Lavold. The Lions will rely heavily on the play of senior Madia Willis in 2003. Willis is a returning two-time All-Ivy player, and was second on the team only to Laval in kill percentage (.234).

George Mason comes into the Orange and Green Challenge after hosting last weekend’s Jefferson Cup Tournament. The Patriots knocked off Campbell and Liberty before losing to Virginia, 3-2. Gum’s Aline Pereira and Malenia Racic were named to the Jefferson Cup All-Tournament Team for their efforts over the weekend. Pereira posted 21 kills and 13 digs in the loss to Virginia while Racic collected 10 digs and had 21 kills in the match.

Northwestern enters the weekend at 4-2 after sweeping the field at last weekend’s Chicago Challenge in Orland Park, Ill. Led by All-American candidate Erika Lange the Wildcats downed Loyola-Chicago, Ole Miss, and Illinois-Chicago in 3 games each. Lange was named the tournament’s MVP and earned Big Ten Co-Player of the Week Honors and was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week. At the tournament, as she recorded 48 kills (5.33 per game), 11 blocks (1.22 per game), nine digs (1.00 per game) and a .529 hitting percentage.

The Hurricanes will attempt to keep a streak of eight consecutive home victories in tact while Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch will try to obtain her 50th career victory at the Orange and Green Challenge. Lantagne Welch currently has an overall record of 49-15 in her three years at UM, posting a .766 career winning percentage.

Friday’s match with Northwestern will be broadcast on WVUM 90.5 FM.

Thursday night is Red, White and Blue Night with the first 100 fans wearing red, white and blue receiving a free American flag. Friday, Sept. 12 is Women’s Sports Day presented by Category 5. Fans who purchase one ticket to any Hurricane volleyball match on Saturday will receive free admission to both Miami matches along with free admission to the women’s soccer game against West Virginia at 7 p.m.