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Hurricanes Travel to Florida State for the FSU Classic

Hurricanes Travel to Florida State for the FSU Classic

Sept. 18, 2003

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (hurricanesports.com) – The University of Miami volleyball team will travel to Tallahassee, Fla. this weekend to take part in the FSU Classic, hosted by Florida State on Sept. 19-20. The tournament will feature three schools from the sunshine state in Miami (7-3), FSU (5-4) and Jacksonville (1-6) along with Eastern Kentucky (7-3).

Miami enters the FSU Tournament after going 2-1 in last weekends’ Orange and Green Challenge in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes downed George Mason and Columbia in three games each before falling to Northwestern, 3-1. The weekend saw the emergence of several Hurricanes as contributors to success. Sophomore Robin Lewullis established herself as one of Miami’s best overall players with 42 kills in 10 games for a .548 hitting percentage. Lewullis also tallied 15 total blocks in the three matches. For her accomplishments Lewullis was named the BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week.

Freshman Jill Robinson earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors for her play at the Orange and Green Challenge

Freshman Jill Robinson paced the Hurricanes from the setter position in her first start as a Hurricane. With Robinson in the starting lineup, four Hurricane players reached double digits in kills against George Mason. Robinson also recorded her first and second career double doubles in matches against Columbia and Northwestern with double figures in assists and digs and was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week.

“We are looking forward to our team clicking on all cylinders this weekend,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “We have had some great individual performances in all of our matches so far and we are hoping that we all come together this weekend and have a great team performance.”

“We will have to do our best to be considered one of the strongest teams in the state.” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch

UM will face Eastern Kentucky on Friday, Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. Eastern Kentucky enters the FSU Tournament riding a six-game winning streak. The Colonels downed Hofstra and host Miami (Ohio) last weekend at the Miami Tournament. EKU’s trio of Liz Guard, Jessica Sebath, and Lesley Aldridge lead the Colonels with 100 plus kills each. EKU’s Kelly Jennings will also play a major role for Eastern Kentucky with 397 assists in 39 matches thus far. This will mark the first meeting between the two schools.

“Eastern Kentucky is coming off of a six-match winning streak,” Lantagne Welch said. “We hope we can put a dent in that and come out really strong in our first match.”

The Hurricanes will take on Florida State in Miami’s second match on Friday night. Florida State comes off a difficult weekend at the UC Irvine Sunset Classic. FSU dropped two matches at the tournament, falling to St. Mary’s College, 3-2 and UC Irvine, 3-2. The Seminoles downed Houston to earn their lone victory at the tournament in a 3-1 win over the Cougars. FSU is led by Aisha Carr, who enters the weekend leading the Seminoles with 97 kills and 11 solo blocks. The Seminoles will also look to the play of Amanda Santos who earned All-Tournament honors at the UC Irvine Sunset Classic. The Hurricanes are 1-1 all-time versus FSU. Miami edged out the Seminoles in Tallahassee, 3-2 in one of UM’s closest matches of the season in their last meeting on Sept. 13, 2002.

“Obviously playing Florida State is a huge school rivalry,” Lantagne Welch said. “That makes it tough to play them, plus we know we will be seeing them in the ACC in the years to come.”

Miami will wrap up the weekend with Jacksonville on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. he Dolphins will look to rebound from a disappointing weekend at the Hampton Inn/JU Classic that saw Jacksonville lose three straight matches. JU fell to Hampton and Florida International by a score of 3-1 each and were swept by Baylor in three straight games. The Dolphins will look to the tandem of Erin Hickman and Radka Dimitrova to bounce back. Hickman leads JU with 10.50 assist per game and Dimitrova leads the team with 103 kills in 26 games. Miami defeated JU in their only other meeting, with the Hurricanes knocking off the Dolphins, 3-1 on Sept. 21, 2002 in Coral Gables.

“We are also excited about playing Jacksonville, another instate rival,” Lantagne Welch said. “We will have to do our best to be considered one of the strongest teams in the state.”

Friday night’s match with the Seminoles will be broadcast live on the Florida’s Sunshine network at 8 p.m.