Middle Blockers Make Waves for Hurricanes in Spring Debut

Middle Blockers Make Waves for Hurricanes in Spring Debut

March 15, 2004

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Middle blockers Francheska Savage and Karla Johnson combined for nearly 40 kills, unofficially, Saturday for the University of Miami volleyball team against Alabama at the Knight Sports Complex in the Hurricanes’ first spring scrimmage of the season.

Playing in two separate modified matches, Miami downed the Crimson Tide in the morning, taking three of five games (30-10, 24-30, 6-15, 16-14, 15-6) following up in the afternoon with four wins over UA, 30-24, 15-10, 17-15, 15-8.

“I was very proud of our team effort,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “I really think we competed well.”

Savage connected on 20 kills for the Hurricanes on a .760 hitting percentage while Johnson added 19 kills along with 13 digs.

With four prominent seniors – Jamie Grass, Valeria Tipiana, Mallorey James and Ashley Youngs – missing Saturday’s scrimmage for various reasons, Lantagne Welch was able to rotate several players into the lineup including Kaitlin Kozak who, playing at libero for the first time, totaled 17 digs and four service aces on the day for the Hurricanes.

“Frannie (Savage) and Karla (Johnson) each played exceptionally well,” Lantagne Welch said. “I thought Kate (Kozak) did a great job out there at libero.”

Saturday’s scrimmage also marked the first appearance in competition for redshirt freshman Ciara Michel.

The Hurricanes will take the week off, returning to practice March 22 before heading to Boca Raton March 27 to take part in a scrimmage with Florida Atlantic.