Miami Win-Streak Snapped at Wake Forest, 3-0

Miami Win-Streak Snapped at Wake Forest, 3-0

Sept. 26, 2008

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Winston-Salem, N.C. – The University of Miami volleyball team had their 15-match winning streak snapped on Friday night with a 3-0 loss (25-19, 25-22, 25-21) in an ACC contest at Wake Forest in front of a crowd of 642 at Reynolds Gym in Winston-Salem, N.C.

It was a tale of opposites on Friday night as one team [WFU] was coming off a tough loss and the other [UM] an emotional win. The tables flipped, however, as the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest turned their stunning loss to Florida State from a night ago into a positive. As for the Hurricanes, an emotional and physically draining win over Duke seemed to take its toll 24 hours later.

Wake Forest (10-4, 1-1 ACC) used steady play from 6-foot-2 middle blocker Natalie Mullikin to keep the Hurricanes at bay for most of the night as UM never led by more than two points at any point the entire night.

After dropping the first set 25-19, the Hurricanes battled back in the second set after trailing late. They rallied to tie the score at 21-21 when Lici McGee took a Katie Gallagher assist down the line for a kill. WFU would not be jolted, however, as two kills from Kadija Fornah and an attack error charged to the `Canes would lead to a 4-1 run that ended the set, 25-22 in favor of the Deacs.

For Miami, it was the first time they had been nipped in the second set of a match all season.

Miami (13-1, 2-1 ACC) battled back from an early deficit again in the third set when freshman Lane Carico registered a kill and junior Cassie Loessberg served up an ace to knot the score at 12-12. A 3-0 run ensued for the Demon Deacons as Kristen White and Fornah combined for two kills and UM committed one of their six attack errors in the set to put the Deacs out in front, 15-12.

Moments later, UM trailed 19-15 before Carico landed a shot down the middle and redshirt freshman Christine Williams posted two kills to bring the `Canes back to within striking distance at 19-18. Williamson added three kills on seven swings while hitting .429 in the third set for the Orange and Green in what was her only playing time on the evening.

Back-to-back service aces by the Deacs’ Lauren McIntyre pushed the Wake Forest lead back out to an insurmountable margin which led to the 25-21 final.

With the loss tonight, the `Canes had their 13-0 record blemished while riding the second-best start in school history. They were seeking to become just the second team ever to reach the month of October undefeated.

The Hurricanes hit their lowest percentage of the season with a .114 mark (33-18-132) on Friday night, including a season-low .085 clip in set three (10-6-47). They also had their second-lowest kill-performance of the year (33) as well as the highest amount of errors committed (18) in a three-set match since the season-opener against Sacramento State.

The 29 assists as a team (24 by Katie Gallagher) was the second-lowest mark of the year, while the two service aces stood out as a new team-low. In fact, the two aces is the lowest since Sept. 27, 2007 when UM hosted Duke.

Carico added a team-high 13 kills with 12 digs for the Hurricanes, continuing her double-double streak at five matches. Also playing well was Angelica Ellis who hit .400 (5-1-10) and collected three blocks for the `Canes.

Loessberg led the defense with a team-high 17 digs, and Gallagher collected back-to-back double-doubles as she tallied 24 assists and 11 digs–her third of the year as a double-double performance.

The Deacs used the swing of Mullikin who led all performers with 15 kills, while teammates White (11) and Fornah (10) touched double-digits for kills. Kelsey Jones setup 36 assists and libero Megan Thornberry sparked the defense with a match-high 19 digs.

Miami will enjoy a week off before getting back to the hardwood next weekend at Clemson on Friday, Oct. 3 in Clemson, S.C. They will follow that up with a trip to Georgia Tech a day later in Atlanta. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. start times.