SPRINGing Up with Miami Volleyball

SPRINGing Up with Miami Volleyball

April 2, 2009


Lane Carico
Freshman, 5-11, Outside Hitter
Manhattan Beach, Calif.

What intrigued you to travel across the country to play volleyball at University of Miami?
“I was drawn to UM because I saw it as a great package deal. It has strong academics; a great athletic program; it’s in a beautiful and exciting location; and most of all I loved the team.”

What kind of mentality do you carry over to the collegiate level coming off of your four consecutive High School Championships? Is there any comparison in the competition level between high school and college?
“If coming from a winning high school program has done anything to me; it would be that it makes me strive for nothing less than ultimate success. The biggest difference from high school to college volleyball would be the speed and power of the game increasing, although the jump from club [TCA] to college didn’t seem as big.”

Do you ever feel any pressure to consistently perform and step up as a team leader as just a freshman?
“The pressure I feel to perform is mostly the pressure I put on myself to excel at volleyball, no matter how old I am or tall or experienced I am, and this self-imposed pressure is always present.”

What was it like being named the ACC Freshman of the Year?
“I was honored. It was a nice compliment, and not just to me but to my team and coaching staff as well.”

Describe the difficulties being a student-athlete and how you personally were able to achieve success so far in your first year to be named to the All-ACC academic team.
“Being a student-athlete requires hard work and dedication to both your sport and academics. A big part of my success was time management, and if it means doing homework on the bus ride to a game, then that’s what needs to happen.”

Describe the feeling competing for the United States in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Poland, and do you have any goals to compete in the Olympics sometime in the future?
“It’s an awesome feeling to be representing your country and to compete against teams from all over the world. As much as I would certainly love to tryout for the Olympic team someday, I see myself pursuing beach volleyball after college and playing in AVP tournaments.”


Cassie Loessberg
Junior, 5-7, Libero
Sacramento, Calif.

What intrigued you to travel across country to play Volleyball at University of Miami?
“I was ready to experience something new. I wanted to be on my own and make new friends in a new environment. I thought it would be the perfect place for that.”

What does it take to be a “libero” and describe some unique aspects about the position?
“I specialize in defense and receiving serves. Passing is the start of the play, followed by the setting and hitting. It makes me work harder to know that I’m able to make the play for everyone else. There is definitely a lot of hustle in playing it as well.”

What is the feeling like holding multiple UM school records including the all-time single match digs leader (49) and the all-time single season digs leader (554)?
“I have my own goals, but ultimately it is just for the team. Those are really just numbers to me. I’d much rather like to focus on the team more rather than my own personal goals.”

How has Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch helped you improve your overall game since coming to Miami?
“I came in as an unconventional player with more freedom and athleticism. She is all about technique, patience, and precision. I mixed my athleticism and instincts with her techniques and discipline. It helped me take 10 extra steps because I am able to focus on both at the same time now.”

What is it like being a student-athlete along with being involved in the United States Marine Corps Reserve?
“To be a student-athlete is hard in itself, but now that I am committed to the Marine Corps, it is even harder. I have to find time away from school and volleyball to go up to Orlando to train and drill. It is hard that I have to leave this lifestyle being all relaxed. However, it was something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m doing it. Where there is a will there is a way.”


Ariell Cooke
Sophomore, 6-0, Middle Blocker
Oakland, Calif.

What intrigued you to travel across country to play volleyball at University of Miami?
“The location in Miami was key with the weather and atmosphere. Also, it had my major in architecture as well so that played a big part.”

What would you say is the toughest part of your sport?
“I think the toughest part is maintaining your mentality. We all are trained to do well but that is definitely where the game gets harder. If you have a strong mentality, you will usually be able to push through.”

How has Coach Nicole Lantagne-Welch helped you with your game since coming to UM in 2007?
“She helped me out a lot with keeping up my technique and picking up the pace. She also stressed the importance of watching film to see what we have been doing right or wrong from another angle, and we just take it from there.”

Describe your relationship with your teammates both on and off the court?
“We are like a family. On the court, we are really focused and intense and just work together throughout. Afterwards, we are relaxed, being funny, and joking around. We’re always together and it is just a really good thing that we have.”

What do you expect from yourself and this team for the future?
“I expect some really great things. I think later this year we can go to the NCAA Tournament like we should have last fall. I know we will be improving a lot and feel like we have had a great start so far.”