Carico, Ellis Spur UM Past Rival Florida State, 3-2

Carico, Ellis Spur UM Past Rival Florida State, 3-2

Nov. 26, 2008

Box Score | Box Score in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Tallahassee, Fla. – Four Hurricanes recorded double-digit kills, led by freshman Lane Carico with a match-high 16, to vault the University of Miami volleyball squad past rival Florida State University on Wednesday afternoon, 3-2, in a thrilling five-set affair (22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-13, 15-11) in the regular season finale at Lucy McDaniel Court in Tallahassee, Fla.

Miami (26-6, 14-6 ACC) hit above .320 in an ACC match for the fourth time this season as the `Canes collected a .329 clip (72-17-167) for the match. Florida State countered with a .282 clip (65-17-170) of their own.

FSU (21-9, 13-7 ACC) won the first set behind a blistering .455 hitting percentage as the Seminoles registered 17 kills against just two errors. Behind Brianna Barry (11 kills / 3 blocks), FSU quickly leaped to a 10-5 advantage. Trailing 16-10, UM went on a 6-3 run to cut the lead at 19-16 behind three kills from Carico and another from sophomore Katie Gallagher. FSU held the `Canes off down the stretch with UM committing back-to-back errors for the 25-22 Seminoles victory.

UM bounced back in the second set with senior outside hitter Angelica Ellis securing five kills and middle blocker Ariell Cooke collecting four more to go along with three blocks (two assists). Miami used a 6-2 run sparked by two kills from Ellis to break a 14-14 tie, running to a 20-16 advantage. FSU’s Barry and Nikki Baker tried to keep it close as they brought the `Noles to within 18-16 before three FSU errors down the stretch allowed the Hurricanes the 25-21 win, knotting the match at 1-1.

FSU took the third set (25-18) while UM countered in the fourth (25-13) to even the match once again, 2-2.

In the fourth set, the Orange and Green hitting a whopping .552 clip (17-1-29) fueled by Carico’s five-kills, three-service ace performance, assisted by Ellis’ four kills and two blocks. Also playing well in the fourth set for UM was defensive specialist Cassie Loessberg who served up two aces and brought in seven digs. Genny Mayhew and Ashley Woods each procured three kills in the set, respectively.

The deciding set was one that kept both Seminoles and Hurricanes alike on the edge of their seat throughout. After three ties, FSU jumped out to a 6-3 advantage when Lauren Young connected on consecutive kills, and teammate Richardson knocked in another to give the `Noles a seemingly comfortable lead.

Miami eighth-year head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch quickly called a timeout, gathering her team in for what would become one of the greatest come-from-behind runs of the season on the road. Kills from Ellis and Gallagher, added block assists from Mayhew and Cooke, and the lead stood deadlocked at 6-6.

The two teams posting ties again until UM gathered their second lead of the frame behind Carico’s solo block off the attack from FSU’s Baker. That gave Miami a slim, 10-9 lead. It wouldn’t last long as the score tied for the seventh time of the set when Rachael Morgan collected a kill off the pass from Baker.

The Orange and Green, seeking their first postseason appearance since 2002 and their highest ACC finish since 2004, were not to be denied as the Hurricanes ended the frame and the match on a 5-1 run. Senior Ashley Woods placed two kills and Carico and Ellis combined for two more, giving Miami their first win in Tallahassee since Oct. 17, 2006. It was also the first season series sweep of the Seminoles since 2004.

The Seminoles’ big four of Morgan (13), Stephanie Neville (12), Barry (11) and Richardson (11) all collected double-digits in kills, while Richardson also posted 16 digs for a double-double performance. Barry added three blocks (two assists) while Baker placed four kills and registered 52 assists from her setter position. Defensive specialist Ashlee Moon collected a team-high 21 digs. Jenna Romanelli also added 11 digs on defense.

Meanwhile, the `Canes used assistance from all over, led by Carico’s match-high 16 kills and 24 digs, allowing her to claim a team-leading 16th double-double of the year, including 12 in ACC play. She also added three service aces and two blocks (one solo). Teammate Ashley Woods, playing in her final regular season contest for UM, committed just one error on 28 swings, hit .393 and added eight digs on the afternoon. For the Round Rock, Texas native, it was the second time in three matches that she’s acquired double-digit kills, and the seventh time overall on the campaign.

Ellis was brilliant offensively for the Hurricanes as she connected for 14 kills on 18 attacks, posted a .778 hitting percentage and notched her sixth error-free match of the year–her second in ACC play. Mayhew chipped in with 10 kills, and junior Loessberg added 18 digs (her 30th double-digit digs performance of the campaign) to go along with four assists and three service aces. Today, Loessberg broke her own record from a year ago as she recorded a new UM single-season best marks for digs with 554 under her belt this year.

The setter position for UM was key today as well as Gallagher just missed out for the third time this year on her quest for a triple-double, boasting eight kills, a match-high 55 assists and 10 digs.

The Hurricanes now watch the television on Sunday as they wait to see if they will be invited to their first NCAA Tournament since 2002 when they advanced to the Sweet 16. The selection show for the NCAA Volleyball Tournament is set to air live on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. For more information and up-to-date coverage of the bracket unveiling and selection show, please stay tuned to