Hurricanes Return Home to Face Florida International
Sept. 22, 2003
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (hurricanesports.com) – The University of Miami volleyball team will host cross-town rival Florida International on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Knight Sports Complex.
This will mark the third meeting between the Panthers (8-3) and Miami (9-4), with FIU leading the series 2-1 over the Hurricanes. In their last meeting, the Panthers snapped UM’s 17-match home winning streak, downing the Hurricanes, 3-2 in Coral Gables on Oct. 16, 2002.
Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch and the Hurricanes are prepared for a tough match.
“When we play FIU it’s always a battle, we seem to bring out the best in them,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “This match is always important because we are playing for inner-city bragging rights. They have had a really nice season so far and we are expecting their best. We hope we can continue to play well coming off of a win against Jacksonville.”
The Hurricanes return home after participating in last weekend’s Florida State Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. Miami knocked off Eastern Kentucky, 3-2 on Friday afternoon in the opening match before falling to Florida State, 3-1 later that evening. The Hurricanes returned to sweep Jacksonville, 3-0 on Saturday morning.
Miami will look to the play of junior outside hitter Valeria Tipiana against FIU. Tipiana comes into the match leading the Hurricanes in total kills (191), averaging 4.24 a game. At last weekend’s FSU Classic, Tipiana totaled 51 kills and 36 digs in 12 games for the Hurricanes and was named to the FSU Classic’s All-Tournament Team.
“When we play FIU it’s always a battle, we seem to bring out the best in them.” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch
Joining Tipiana on the all-tournament team was senior outside hitter Leyre Santaella Sante, who posted a team-high 17 kills against the Seminoles. Santaella Sante is currently second on the Miami roster in kills per game (3.72).
FIU enters the match coming off an impressive weekend at the New Hampshire Tournament that saw the Panthers claim the tournament championship by defeating hosts New Hampshire, 3-1. The Panthers downed Syracuse 3-2 in the first match of the tournament and fell to Rhode Island, 3-0.
FIU’s Jennifer Owens will attempt to continue her play that earned her the New Hampshire Tournament’s Most Valuable Player award. The Panthers will also depend on senior Adriana Fundora and junior Jessica Jones, who both earned all-tournament honors last weekend.
The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. and will be carried live on WVUM 90.5 FM and can also be heard through hurricanesports.com.