Hurricanes Volleyball Travels to Duke & Wake Forest

Hurricanes Volleyball Travels to Duke & Wake Forest

Sept. 24, 2008

Coral Gables, Fla. –

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The University of Miami volleyball team puts their 14-match winning streak on the line when they travel to Atlantic Coast Conference foes Duke and Wake Forest for a road-swing up “Tobacco Road” in North Carolina. The `Canes have never beaten the Blue Devils on the road, and have never lost at Wake Forest.

The Hurricanes received other votes this week in the AVCA poll for the first time all season.

The University of Miami volleyball team takes to the road for the second and third matches of their current five-match road swing this week, taking on Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foes Duke University and Wake Forest University. The Hurricanes are 1-0 in the league for just the second time in the last four years after defeating in-state conference rival Florida State last Friday night at home in Coral Gables.

Miami is riding the second-longest winning streak (14 matches) in school history dating back to the end of the 2001 campaign stretching into 2002. At that time, the `Canes were not eligible for the NCAA Tournament in 2001 due to just bringing back the program after a 20-year hiatus. In 2002, the `Canes started the season 15-0. However, this week’s matches will certainly test the young Hurricanes as their next four road matches include play at Duke (9-3), Wake Forest (9-3), Clemson (8-4, 0-1 ACC) and Georgia Tech (9-2, 1-0 ACC).

UM travels to Duke first on Thursday night, a place in which the Hurricanes have never tasted victory. The Orange and Green is 0-2 in Durham, and that stretch of famous “Tobacco Road” has been home to 3-0 wins in favor of the Blue Devils. The `Canes have been defeated by 3-0 scores in four of six matches against Duke since joining the ACC.

Against Wake Forest, the Hurricanes are 5-2 all-time, and have won five of the last six matches against the Demon Deacons. In Winston-Salem, the `Canes are 2-0 since joining the ACC. The two teams split a pair of games last season, with the road team taking advantage each time.

The Hurricanes received other votes into his week’s AVCA poll for the first time this season. They received seven votes, and are one of just seven teams in NCAA Division I volleyball that is peeking at an unblemished record to date. Live stats will be available for all matches this week through Game Tracker at

Duke University is 9-3 on the season and opens their ACC season against the Hurricanes on Thursday night. The Blue Devils only losses this year have come against nationally ranked opponents Purdue (19), Kansas State (17) and Middle Tennessee (23). The Devils are also 4-0 at home this year with wins against Seton Hall, Colgate, Georgia and Delaware.

Duke is led by a trip of players including senior outside hitter Rachael Moss. She leads the team with 150 kills and holds an attack percentage of 28 percent (.282). She also has a team second-best 127 digs and 19 blocks. Behind her is Becci Burling with 114 kills and 71 digs. The setter for the Blue Devils is Kellie Catanach with 440 assists under her belt.

The Deacons have started the season with a 9-3 record and have claimed three invitational titles. Wake opened the season with a win at the Deacon Invitational, and then claimed the Black & Gold Challenge on Sept. 13 before winning the Appalachian State Inv. last weekend.

A large reason for the Deacs’ success this year has been the play of middle blocker Natalie Mullikin and setter Kelsey Jones. Both players picked up tournament MVP honors this season; Mullikin at the Deacon Inv. and Jones at the Black & Gold Challenge.

Mullikin tops the team with 134 kills and 47 total blocks. She is also averaging 3.19 kills per set and is hitting at a .363 clip. Both her hitting percentage and kills per set rank ninth in the ACC.

Freshman Lane Carico was named as this week’s ACC Player of the Week following her help in keeping the Hurricanes undefeated in two wins last week against FSU and FAU, respectively. On Friday against arch rival Florida State, Carico tallied 16 kills on 39 attempts with only three errors. She coupled that with 13 digs and a service ace to lead Miami to a 3-1 victory over the Seminoles. A day later on Saturday, Carico had 12 kills on 20 attempts with four errors in a 3-0 victory over local foe Florida Atlantic. She also tallied 13 digs for her third consecutive double-double and fifth of the season.

Miami trails the all-time series with the Blue Devils by a count of 7-1. Their lone win came back on Nov. 6, 2002 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in Madison, Wisconsin. The Hurricanes took the match, 3-0 (30-25, 30-18, 30-20) en route to their only Sweet 16 appearance in school history. Duke has won the last five meetings consecutively, including two in Durham, North Carolina.

The Hurricanes lead the all-time series, 5-2 against Wake Forest. The triad area of NC has been good to the Orange and Green as they are 2-0 in Winston-Salem since joining the league. The `Canes have taken four of the last five matches, but WFU did win last year’s meeting in Coral Gables (Sept. 28) with a 3-0 decision.

Miami has held its opponents to under .200 hitting as a team in 10 of the first 12 matches on the campaign. That includes negative hitting percentages in a match against Louisiana-Monroe. They held opponents Sacramento State (twice), VCU and Florida Atlantic to under .100 hitting. Meanwhile, the `Canes have collected a .275 attack percentage on the year, while opponents are hitting just .136 altogether.