Hurricanes Travel to Florida State for Regular Season Finale

Hurricanes Travel to Florida State for Regular Season Finale

Nov. 25, 2008

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Coral Gables, Fla. – Head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch and the Miami volleyball team travels to the capital city of Tallahassee on Wednesday for the regular season finale against in-state rival Florida State in Tully Gym at 2 p.m. The match will be shown live via the internet courtesy ACC Select.

Miami (25-6, 13-6 ACC) is having their best season in ACC history, and looks for a chance to amass their wins total from 2006 and 2007, respectively, in just one season (2008). The Hurricanes are just one win away from accomplishing that feat after finishing 12-19 (2006) and 14-17 (2007) in back-to-back years. This is the first time UM has accomplished 25 wins in a single season since 2002 (27-6).

The UM vs. FSU series is one that fans from around the state and country watch heavily as the two teams have shared a great rivalry with each other since the Orange and Green joined the ACC in 2004. The series stands at an even 5-5 mark after the `Canes took a 3-1 victory over the Seminoles earlier this season in Coral Gables on Sept. 19. The match served as the conference-opener for both teams.

As of Tuesday night, the Hurricanes are still in the hunt for their first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) volleyball title in school history. After being predicted to finish ninth in the preseason polls, UM is currently tied for third place and needs a win and two losses from fellow ACC foes to succeed in their title aspirations. A number of things need to happen on Tuesday and Wednesday, however, for the `Canes to grab the conference crown.

In the last turn, or final matches, of the Atlantic Coast Conference season, the title is still up in the air. However, both Duke and North Carolina hold the edge at this point and control their own destiny. Both teams are in action on Tuesday, with Duke facing a tough Wake Forest team, as well as UNC playing against a scrappy NC State club. Miami is not out of the picture because if both teams lose, then the Hurricanes would step in as ACC champs if they can also muster up a victory against rival Florida State on Wednesday night in Tallahassee. However, if FSU wins and the previous scenario stays true to form, then the Seminoles will climb up to ACC championship status after starting the ACC season just 1-4.

Aside from being broadcast live through ACC Select on the internet, live stats for Wednesday’s match will also be available through Game Tracker at

A lot of things could happen on Wednesday for the University of Miami, and the possibility for post season play depends heavily on their match against in-state rival Florida State University in the capital city of Tallahassee. The Hurricanes enter the match with a record of 25-6 (13-6 ACC) and need to win in order to keep their second place league hopes alive, as well as a slim chance at the conference crown.

If UM defeats FSU, they would need for NC State to knock-off rival North Carolina, but they need for Wake Forest to first defeat Duke on Tuesday, Nov. 25 for this to even matter. So, the race for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title is still up in the air, but the `Canes are not out of the hunt just yet.

Entering Wednesday night’s contest, Florida State may be playing the best volleyball of anyone in the league at this point after winning their last six matches, including four sweeps in the process. The Seminoles still have a shot at the league title as well, but they need to defeat Miami and hope for the same scenario as the `Canes as far as other conference foes winning and losing, respectively.

After accomplishing just their second 25-win season since bringing back the program in 2001, the Hurricanes have a chance to see the post season for the first time since their amazing and memorable Sweet 16 run in the 2002 NCAA Tournament before they were defeated by national seed Nebraska, 3-0. The Orange and Green are seeking to equal the total amount of wins this season then they had in the previous two seasons combined with possibly 26 wins … (12 – 2006, 14 – 2007).

Miami can also join just seven other schools since 1998 to have a winning percentage turnaround of less than 15 wins in one season to 25 or more wins the following year, and finish with less than 10 losses. UM is also seeking their highest finish in the ACC standings since 2004 when they first joined the league.

The Seminoles of Florida State are celebrating “Senior Day” on Wednesday, and they may-well be playing the best volleyball of anyone in the ACC as of late. With wins over UNC, NC State, Clemson and Georgia Tech in the last weekends combined, the Seminoles have put themselves into position to win the ACC title along with three other schools. They may have enjoyed one of the most successful turn-around at the midway point of the season than anyone else in the league.

The `Noles Lauren Richardson leads the team and sits ranked among the top 10 in the ACC in kills with a total of 310 under her belt. Richardson averages 3.04 kills per set, and has a team second-best tying 23 service aces. A team second-best 274 digs is also owned by Richardson.

Behind her is Jordana Price who has 276 kills while teammates Stephanie Neville (259 kills) and Brianna Barry (235 kills) top the 200-or more kills category for the Seminoles as well. The setter for the `Noles is Nikki Baker who is among the league leaders in assists with 1,157 to her credit. Digs are provided by Ashlee Moon who leads the squad with an even 450.

The heated ACC series rivalry between these “Sunshine State” opponents sits at an even 5-5 after the Hurricanes won this year’s only other meeting in Coral Gables back on Sept. 19 by a count of 3-1. Prior to that, FSU had taken four of the last five meetings leading into the 2008 campaign for both teams.

Finishing the 2008 regular season with a record 12-1 at home in the James L. Knight Sports Complex, after defeating Clemson last weekend, the Miami Hurricanes registered their best home effort since moving to the ACC in 2004. Prior to that, UM collected an equally impressive 12-1 mark in 2002–the same year they ventured into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

After defeating ACC power Duke last Friday night in Coral Gables, the University of Miami volleyball team assured themselves their first 20-win season since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The `Canes are now 20-5 overall, and have a chance to record their best record in NCAA Division I history. The current record (27-6) was set during their magical NCAA Sweet 16 run in 2002. The school record, however, is a 49-14-1 season back in 1980 when the Hurricanes were members of the old AIAW league, not associated with the NCAA.