Volleyball Hands out End-of-Year Awards at Annual Banquet

Volleyball Hands out End-of-Year Awards at Annual Banquet

Feb. 9, 2009

Coral Gables, Fla. – Junior Cassie Loessberg was named Most Valuable Player, while sophomore Katie Gallagher received her second consecutive 100% Award given out by head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch at the annual volleyball end-of-year awards ceremony held on Sunday evening in Miami Lakes, Fla.

“We enjoyed getting together with our 2008 team and staff to celebrate all the great accomplishments of the season,” remarked Lantagne Welch. “Certainly, our efforts this fall resulted in a great year–one that we also look forward to building upon.”

Loessberg, a junior from Sacramento, California, set a new school-record for digs in a single-season (554)–surpassing her own mark from a year ago (552), while moving into second place all-time at UM in career digs (1,424). This was her first-ever end-of-year team award at Miami.

“I’m pleased to see Cassie recognized for the outstanding season she had,” praised Lantagne Welch. “She means so much to our success, and she really brought her game to a new level this season. Her consistency in passing and defense was a mainstay for both our offensive and defensive success.”

This year’s Most Inspirational Award went to senior Angelica Ellis who led the team in blocks (93), while also setting a new single-match school record in hitting percentage with a .778 clip (14-0-18) against Florida State in the season-finale on Nov. 26 in Tallahassee. In her career, Ellis finished with 264 total blocks–seventh all-time in UM history. But that wasn’t the only award given to Ellis, as she also received her second-ever Most Improved Award, adding to her award from the 2005 season. Ellis received the Unsung Hero Award in 2007.

This year’s Co-Most Improved Award went to freshman Christine Williamson. Williamson, a native of Tampa, Florida, saw action in 26 sets this year while registering 30 kills and seven digs with 10 block assists.

This year’s Unsung Hero Award went to senior Bridget Bomhack who ended the year with 48 kills, 35 assists and 18 blocks in her final season for the Orange and Green. For Bomhack, this was her first award received while being a part of the Miami program through her four-year career.

“Our seniors will be sorely missed, not only for their contributions on the court, but for what they mean to all of us as people,” expressed Lantagne Welch.

Maria Andersson received this year’s Academic Award after holding one of the highest GPAs on the squad. Andersson was selected to the 2007 All-ACC Academic Team as well. On the year, she finished with 22 service aces, 32 assists and 178 digs in her second year with the Hurricanes program.

“Maria exemplifies the true meaning of being a student-athlete, and we are proud of her results in the classroom and on the court,” exclaimed Lantagne Welch.

The final award on the night was the 100% Award given annually to the player who exemplifies a dedication of 100 percent day-in and day-out. This year’s recipient was sophomore Katie Gallagher who not only led the team in assists, but established herself fifth in school history for assists in a single-season (1,202) after placing herself third last season (1,243). For assists in a career, Gallagher is already second in school history (2,445) through two years with the Hurricanes. The Winter Park, Florida native is chasing former great Jill Robinson (2003-06) who holds the all-time mark of 4,937.

In 2008, the Hurricanes collected their best ACC record (14-6) while finishing the year tied for third place in the league standings. They also collected the second-best mark in school history since bringing back the program in 2001 with a record of 26-6, and finished 12-1 at home. The Hurricanes just missed-out on their second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

For more information on the University of Miami volleyball team, please locate your internet browser to www.hurricanesports.com–the official athletic website for all varsity sports for the University of Miami Hurricanes.