Volleyball Downs FIU in Spring Match, 3-1

Volleyball Downs FIU in Spring Match, 3-1

March 16, 2009

Coral Gables, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team defeated cross-town opponent FIU on Friday afternoon, claiming a 3-1 victory (25-16, 25-21, 16-25, 31-29) at the James L. Knight Sports Complex in Coral Gables, Fla.

“I was pleasantly surprised how well we played with only a couple weeks of practice,” expressed a happy UM head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch. “I thought our ball-handling and defenses allowed us to run a more balanced attack, and get our middles involved.”

A great crowd was on hand for the spring opener for the Hurricanes, with an estimated 353 patrons in attendance. The atmosphere was almost game-like with fans getting very-much involved throughout the match.

Miami opened the match winning the first set, 25-16, then coming from behind early-on to claim the second set, 25-21.

In the third set, FIU looked impressive as they collected the 25-16 score, making the match 2-1 in favor of the Hurricanes.

The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team wanting to give up the set. Miami eventually outlasted the Golden Panthers, 31-29, claiming the 3-1 victory on the day.

Miami got solid play from freshman Ali Becker who led the team with seven assisted blocks, and chipped in with 10 kills. Sophomore Ariell Cooke was equally dominant as she posted 15 kills en route to a team-high .556 hitting percentage in the match.

“Ali really turned it on with her blocking in set four,” stated Lantagne Welch. “Ariell and Ali have been working hard in practice to be more available, and it showed. Arielle was affective attacking, and Ali really came up with three huge blocks to finish them [FIU] off.”

Freshman Lane Carico led all Hurricanes with 19 kills and 15 digs, while Cassie Loessberg led the defensive charge with 25 digs.

“I thought Cassie [Loessberg] had a great day, and our middles have been working hard,” stated Lantagne Welch.

Sophomore Maria Andersson added 15 digs as well to assist the Miami defense.

“For a spring match it really brought a lot of intensity, and it was a great experience for these players,” said Lantagne Welch. “We realize we still have a lot of work to do this spring to improve.”

The Hurricanes volleyball team will have their next spring match on Mar. 28 when they take part in the UCF Tournament in Orlando, Fla. For more information on that event, please visit www.ucfathletics.com.

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.