Hurricanes Down Arkansas State, 3-1, in Season Opener
Sept. 2, 2005
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>HOUSTON, Texas – The University of Miami volleyball team defeated ArkansasState, 3-1 (26-30, 30-22, 31-29, 30-22) in its season opener at the Houston Invitational in Houston’s Athletics/Alumni Center Friday afternoon. The Hurricanes improve to 1-0 while the Lady Indians fall to 0-1 after their first match of the season. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
“We came out a little shaky, but as the match went on we settled down, made adjustments and executed the game plan,” said head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch. “I was happy with the way we finished.”
Senior outside hitter Karla Johnson, a Houston native, registered a personal best 28 kills to lead all players and carry the offensive load for Miami. Redshirt junior middle blocker Francheska Savage also posted double-digit kills, knocking down 13 to go along with a team-high five blocks (1BS, 4BA).
“The match was a great homecoming for Karla,” noted Lantagne Welch. “She was incredible in every aspect of her game.”
“Ashley Woods came off the bench and provided a nice spark and Frannie had a very good match as well.”
Woods, a redshirt freshman, went 7-of-13 for a .482 attacking percentage.
Freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Lauren Rinderknecht made her collegiate debut by tallying a team-high 11 digs and two block assists while junior setter Jill Robinson dished out a match-high 45 assists to go along with six kills, seven digs and four block assists.
The match opened up with the Hurricanes dropping the first game, 30-26. After taking an early 10-5 lead the Lady Indians led by as many as six points before the Hurricanes tied the score at 14-all. ArkansasState once again jumped ahead with a two point lead, but Miami rallied back to tie the score 22-22 after a block by Rinderknecht and redshirt sophomore Ciara Michel. The Hurricanes could only get to within two points, however, before the Lady Indians ran away with the game to take a 1-0 match lead.
The second game saw a match-high 16 tied scores and the lead change eight times before the Hurricanes claimed a 30-22 victory. Both teams swapped the lead through out the match but three back-to-back ArkansasState errors allowed the Hurricanes to jump ahead by four points and bring the score to 20-17. The Lady Indians could not get any closer as the Hurricanes won with an eight point margin to tie the match at one game a piece.
Game three was once again a seesaw battle that saw both teams hit below .100. After swapping leads for the beginning of the match, the Lady Indians jumped to a 12-10 lead. ArkansasState continued to lead by as many as six points before the Hurricanes took advantage of four Lady Indian attacking errors and a Johnson kill to pull within two points with the score at 26-24. The game became tied two more times before a Johnson kill gave the Hurricanes a 31-29 win.
The Hurricanes won the fourth and final game claiming a 30-22 win off the strength of a .500 team attacking percentage. Miami never trailed again after taking a 15-14 lead midway through the game coasting to the victory with an eight point margin. The Hurricanes committed a match-low three errors while forcing seven.
As a team the Hurricanes posted nine team blocks, 51 assists and 62 total kills. Miami held ArkansasState to a .196 attacking percentage for the match.
The Hurricanes return to the Houston Invitational for two matches Saturday. Miami will take on SamHoustonState at 11:00 a.m. (CST) before facing tournament host Houston at 8:00 p.m. (CST).