Lane Carico, Nicole Lantagne Welch Collect ACC Honors

Lane Carico, Nicole Lantagne Welch Collect ACC Honors

Dec. 2, 2008

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Greensboro, N.C. – University of Miami freshman volleyball player Lane Carico was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year on Tuesday afternoon as released by the ACC office in Greensboro, N.C. Likewise, eighth-year UM head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch collected an end-of-year award in being named as the 2008 ACC Coach of the Year.

Lane Carico, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter from Manhattan Beach, Calif., finished with two ACC Player of the Week awards (Sept. 22 / Oct. 20) and ranked among the league leaders in kills and service aces. On the campaign, she was first for UM in kills (369), ranking as one of the best freshmen in UM history for that category. She also led the Hurricanes in service aces (35) while ranking second on the squad with 416 digs–sixth-best in school history for digs in a single-season. That was accompanied by 49 blocks (40 assists).

Carico finished the season with a team-best 16 double-double performances, including a 16-kill, 24-dig performance in UM’s come-from-behind 3-2 win over in-state rival Florida State last week in Tallahassee. She collected 19 overall double-digit kills matches on the year to go along with 22 matches in which she registered double-digits for digs.

This was UM’s first ACC Freshman of the Year award since joining the league in 2004, and the first-ever Freshman/Rookie of the Year award in program history since its reinsertion in 2001. Carico was also selected to the All-ACC Freshman and Second Team, respectively.

As for head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch, the ACC Coach of the Year honor is the first of its kind since she was named as Miami’s first Division I head coach in 2001. Lantagne Welch, also a California native (Encinitas), and 1994 graduate of the University of Maryland, helped the Hurricanes to their best overall record since joining the league. The 26-6 record posted this year is a 12-win turnaround from last season’s 14-17 record, and the second-most wins in their Division I volleyball history.

Miami was predicted to finish ninth in the preseason conference poll and finished the year tied for third place alongside Clemson after posting a school-best 14-6 ACC mark. That would be just one match behind co-champs Duke and North Carolina, respectively, for a shot at first place. This was the best season for the `Canes since their Sweet 16 run in the 2002 NCAA Tournament where they finished the year with a mark of 27-6 while competing in the Big East.

Named to the All-ACC Second Team for UM were Carico, Angelica Ellis and Genny Mayhew. Ellis, a senior middle blocker from Houston, Texas, finished her final season for the Orange and Green with the team’s best hitting percentage (.350) which also ranked among the Top 10 in the league in that category. Mayhew, a Clovis, Calif. native, ended the year second on the UM squad in kills (356) and collects her first All-ACC honor, as well as Ellis.

The three selections to this year’s All-ACC Team was the most for UM since they placed former UM standouts Marcela Gamarra, Mallorey James and Valeria Tipiana on the All-Big East Team in 2002. Until now, the `Canes had never had more than two student-athletes present on either the first or second team combined, thus adding to the special season UM enjoyed under Lantagne Welch in 2008.

Player of the Year honors went to Clemson’s Danielle Hepburn.

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