Miami Set for ACC Home Stand with Boston College, Maryland

Miami Set for ACC Home Stand with Boston College, Maryland

Oct. 9, 2008

Coral Gables, Fla. –

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Miami volleyball plays host to two Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponents this weekend with home matches against Boston College (Oct. 10) and Maryland (Oct. 12) at the James L. Knight Sports Complex in Coral Gables, Fla.

The Hurricanes are enjoying their first weekend at home since Sept. 19, and the first back-to-back home matches since Sept. 4-6. Prior to Tuesday night’s victory over Florida Atlantic, the `Canes were on the road for five consecutive matches, including four ACC contests. This is Miami’s first ACC home match since a Sept. 19 win over rival Florida State.

UM has lost three straight matches to the Terps of Maryland, and split a season series with Boston College last year with the home team winning each time.

For eighth-year head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch, this is always a big deal to play her alma mater, Maryland, as she is still considered one of the all-time best players in school history. Having played as a setter, Lantagne Welch is still atop the all-time records list at Maryland in digs (1,668) while ranking third in assists (3,626).

This is a full weekend for Hurricane athletics as volleyball, soccer and football are all at home in consecutive days. Volleyball plays Friday, Oct. 10; football follows on Saturday, Oct. 11 (vs. UCF); and soccer (vs. Florida State) and volleyball (vs. Maryland) are in action on Sunday.

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Miami comes into this weekend with a pair of wins last week to build upon. The Hurricanes now venture back into ACC waters with opponents Boston College and Maryland this weekend. The `Canes enter 3-2 in league play, but are just 1-2 in their last three ACC matches, recently ending a two-match skid with a victory at Georgia Tech.

Boston College comes calling on Friday night where the Eagles have split their last two meetings in Coral Gables, winning in 2007 by a count of 3-0. In fact, that match kick-started a current eight-match home winning streak for the Orange and Green.

Hurricanes head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch hosts her alma mater, the University of Maryland to the James L. Knight Sports Complex on Sunday in a day of UM sports, with the soccer team playing at Cobb Stadium as well.

Miami shutout their eighth opponent this season this past Tuesday night with a victory over south Florida opponent Florida Atlantic University. The Hurricanes put just one player in double-digits for kills as Mayhew had 10. But the defense of the Hurricanes was as solid as ever, holding their 12th opponent this season below a .200 clip in hitting. The `Canes held just 10 opponents under that mark last year altogether.

Miami has lost to the Eagles of Boston College in three of the last five matches, including a home-and-home split last season, with the home team winning the respective match. Against Maryland, Miami has fallen in the last three matches, including 3-0 sweeps in two of them.

The last win for the Hurricanes over the Terrapins came back on Sept. 24, 2006 in Coral Gables. UM took the match, 3-0.

Boston College is 6-11 overall, but just 0-5 in the ACC at this point in the year. The Eagles are led by a star-studded duo with Jordan Meredith and Taylor Williams. Meredith leads the Eagles in kills (193), sits second in service aces (19) and second in digs (142). Behind her is Williams with a team second-best 162 kills and a team-leading 20 aces. The Eagles are set-up by setters Dan Moskitis (293 assists) and Brittany Pierpont (257 assists). The defense is spurred by Brennan Clark with 245 digs.

The terrapins of Maryland are in unusual waters with just a 5-12 record (1-4 ACC). Maryland is led by Katie Usher with 156 kills and 12 service aces. Assisting Usher is Maggie Schmelzle with 117 kills and 165 digs. Two players for the Terps have 116 kills–Michelle Kenning and Lisa Scott. Bethany Springer has a team-best 235 digs while teammate Hayley Hanson has 291 assists.

Miami leads the all-time series with Boston College, 6-2. However, the Eagles split a series last year with the home teams prevailing each time. Miami has won three of the last five meetings.

Maryland dominates the series between the Terps and `Canes, 7-2. The Orange and Green haven’t defeated Maryland in their last three tries, but did win one of their last two home matches. Both of UM’s wins against Maryland have come since joining the ACC in 2004.

With their victory over Florida Atlantic on Tuesday night, the Hurricanes surpassed their win total from 2006 and 2007 with one final kill from Genny Mayhew. The `Canes won just 14 matches in 2007 and just 12 in 2006. The last time UM had a winning season came in 2005 (16-14), and they need just two more wins to assure a winning record in 2008.

Miami has shutout eight opponents this season in their first 17 matches. Last year, the Hurricanes managed eight shutouts in 2007 altogether. The 2006 class had just four and 2005 with six. The most shutouts for the Hurricanes since joining the ACC is 11 back in 2004–their first season in the league. The most under head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch is 17 back in 2002, the last year UM made it to the NCAA Tournament.

At home this year in the friendly confines of the James L. Knight Sports Complex, the `Canes have yet to hit below a .200 clip. In fact, they are averaging a .276 hitting percentage (236-76-580) at home. Meanwhile, opponents are being held to just .139 hitting at “The Knight.”

Junior outside hitter Genny Mayhew (Clovis, Calif.) has increased her hitting percentage by .057 in the last three matches. Mayhew now has punched in a .245 clip (190-58-550) on the campaign. That ranks her sixth on the team in that category with players holding more than 75 kills. However, take into account that Mayhew leads the team in attacks (550).