Miami Too Much for Alabama in Volleyball Action, 3-1

Miami Too Much for Alabama in Volleyball Action, 3-1

Sept. 6, 2008

Box Score

Coral Gables, Fla. – Miami improved to 2-0 in the Hurricane Invitational with a 3-1 victory (22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22) over the University of Alabama on Saturday afternoon in the James L. Knight Sports Complex.

Trailing 1-0 after the first set, Miami surged back in the final three sets to keep their hopes alive for a second consecutive regular season tournament title–following a win last week at the Century Tel Premier Tournament in Texas.

The `Canes (6-0) led 4-0 right from the start in the second set aided by three errors charged to the Crimson Tide.

Leading 19-14 following a kill from setter Katie Gallagher (six kills, 12 digs), freshman Lane Carico served up three consecutive aces to push the `Canes lead out to a 22-14 advantage. A kill from Carico at 23-16 allowed her team to serve for set-point.

Alabama (4-2) was charged with a set error that tied the match at 1-1 as Miami took the second set, 25-16.

In the third set, the two teams stood stalemate as they went back-and-forth with the lead until Gallagher served up back-to-back aces to vault the Orange and Green to an 8-5 lead. Junior Genny Mayhew assisted prior to the service aces with a kill to put the Hurricanes out in front and break the 5-5 tie.

UM’s Lici McGee staked a kill later in the set to give Miami its largest lead, 19-13. Alabama would claw back at 22-18 following Elizabeth Salstrand’s tip-kill from the middle. But Miami closed the door down the stretch with four straight points from teammates Ali Becker and Mayhew. UM took the set, 25-20.

“Our girls are so in tuned with each other, and they really have good chemistry out there to stay focused even in the tightest of situations,” stated UM head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch. “We kept our composure and were able to get back in the match and take the lead with everyone’s help.”

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the third set as freshman Becker registered her only service ace of the match, but the Tide were not going away. A service ace from Amy Pauly and an attack error charged to the Hurricanes, and `Bama was right back in the match at 18-17 in favor of the Orange and Green.

Alabama’s hard-hitting outside hitter Brooks Webster and Salstrand combined for back-to-back kills in order to bring the Tide high to knot the score at 19-19.

The two teams went back-and-forth with two lead changes and two ties down the stretch until Miami’s Carico put down a kill to give the `Canes the lead for good, 23-22. That was followed up by an attack error charged to the Tide, one of seven for them in the set, to give the `Canes some breathing room at 24-22.

Lici McGee, the player who had a big kill in the second set, put down the final point for the Hurricanes with a shot to the right-center part of the court to give Miami the win, 25-22.

Alabama was led by Webster with a match-high tying 15 kills and 12 digs. She also added four blocks (two solo). Amy Pauly had 20 digs for the Crimson Tide, and Mary Catherine Aune pitched in on defense as well with 14 digs and three assists.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes used the play of several players to hold strong for their eighth consecutive win dating back to last year.

Mayhew dialed in a match-high tying 15 kills, while Carico planted her second double-double of the year with 10 kills and 16 digs. Carico added three service aces as well. Also playing well for the `Canes were Gallagher (40 assists), Becker (six kills, two blocks) and Ashley Woods (six kills, two blocks).

The Hurricanes conclude their only home tournament of the year this evening when they host Virginia Commonwealth University at 6:00. Tickets can be purchased at the gate entering into the Knight Sports Complex.