Volleyball Set to Host In-State Foe Florida State

Volleyball Set to Host In-State Foe Florida State

Sept. 18, 2008

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Coral Gables, Fla. – The Hurricanes volleyball team opens up the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference season on Friday night by playing host to in-state foe Florida State at the James L. Knight Sports Complex.

Miami comes into this weekend’s contest riding a 10-0 record (12 matches dating back to 2007), and perfect for the first time ever when facing Florida State in the ACC opener. Immediately after playing the ‘Noles, UM heads to nearby Boca Raton to face-off with Florida Atlantic in one of their final two non-conference matches in the campaign. The other non-conference match-up, a meeting at home against Florida Atlantic (Oct. 7).

The University of Miami and Florida State open up this weekend’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) match-ups with a highly-anticipated contest in Coral Gables, Fla. The Hurricanes are entering ACC play undefeated for the first time ever. In fact, UM is riding the second-best start to a season ever … with the best being a 15-0 start to the 2002 campaign. That same year, under the direction of head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch, the `Canes advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Miami is 2-2 in ACC openers since joining the league back in 2004. The last two season-openers have been against the Seminoles, and have ended with losses. FSU took the 2007 opener, 3-0 while doing the same with a 3-2 count in 2006.

Miami enters the contest having won the Asics/Coca-Cola Invitational in San Francisco, Calif. last weekend. For the second time this season, junior outside hitter Genny Mayhew was named as Tournament MVP. She also registered tournament top honors on the opening weekend at the Century Tel Premier Tournament in San Marcos, Texas.

In the series between the only two Florida schools of the ACC, Florida State leads the all-time series by the slimmest of margins, 5-4. The `Noles have won three of the last four meetings, with the last UM victory voming on Oct. 17, 2006 in Tallahassee. UM took the match, 3-2.

The last time the Seminoles and Hurricanes hooked up was back on Oct. 23, 2007 with FSU taking a 3-1 victory over the Orange and Green in Coral Gables. Ciara Michel led the way on offense for the `Canes as she tallied 12 kills and two solo blocks. Behind her was Genny Mayhew (11) and Bridget Bomhack (10) with double-digit kills themselves. The Seminoles of FSU were paced by a pair of players with 17 kills apiece, respectively, in the form of Mira Djuric and Brianna Barry. Line scores of that match were as follows … 28-30, 24-30, 30-25, 23-30.

Junior libero/defensive specialist Cassie Loessberg (Sacramento, Calif.) surpassed the 1,000-digs mark last weekend at the Asics/Coca-Cola Invitational. Loessberg now sits at second place all-time in the digs category with 1,060 total. She is now 561 digs behind Jamie Grass for the top honors in school history.

Following their three victories last weekend, the `Canes have now won three consecutive tournaments to start the season. Mayhew has collected two MVP awards while teammate Katie Gallagher collected the MVP award during the Hurricane Invitational. The Hurricanes haven’t won three tournaments in a season since 2002 when they won three consecutive tournaments before falling in the second round of the Big East Tournament, though entering as the heavy favorite.

Miami has never been afraid of taking the “show” on the road, and that’s exactly where the Hurricanes will have to go following their one (1) home match on Friday night with the FSU Seminoles. The `Canes will hit the road for five (5) consecutive contests beginning Saturday, Sept. 20 at nearby Florida Atlantic. In fact, UM will travel to ACC foes Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson and Georgia Tech in straight road matches.