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Hurricanes Volleyball Tops Wichita State, 3-2

Hurricanes Volleyball Tops Wichita State, 3-2

Aug. 28, 2010

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Norman, Okla. – Senior middle blocker Ariell Cooke registered a career-high tying 14 kills for the second straight match to help the University of Miami volleyball team move past Wichita State, 3-2, at the Nike Invitational on Sat., Aug. 28, at McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla. The tournament is being host by the University of Oklahoma.

The Hurricanes, advancing to what is the “championship match” of this year’s Nike Invitational, defeated the Shockers on scores of 19-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-22 and 15-10. Wichita State (1-1) was a participant in last year’s Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, falling to Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

Miami (2-0) fell behind early in the match, 1-0, when Wichita State erased an early 7-3 deficit after a UM kill from sophomore Lane Carico. WSU proceeded to go on a 14-5 run, thanks in part to three kills and three blocks (assisted) from Sarah McGee, aided by another three kills from Camri Zwiesler and Amanda Backes. That led to the WSU win in the opener, 25-19.

Miami’s Cooke led all Hurricanes in the first set with five kills.

UM tied things up in the second frame with the set tied at eight, before the `Canes embarked upon a 7-1 run, helped by a surplus of WSU service and attack errors. The `Canes used the errors to take a 15-9 lead midway through the set. Carico supplied four kills in the set, and teammate Cooke added three more to give UM the 25-17 edge – knotting the match at 1-1.

WSU stepped back out in front in the third set, using four kills from Zwiesler, on her way to a 12-kill afternoon. UM and WSU stood tied at 13, before the Shockers’ Zwiesler laid down a kill to start a 6-1 run that was too much for the `Canes to overcome. WSU took four of the final five points in the set, three courtesy UM errors, on its way to the 25-19 win.

Once again, Miami proved resilient in the fourth frame, getting a set-high seven kills from Carico. With the set tied at 22-all, UM head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch called a timeout following back-to-back points by the Shockers. The final three points in the set came courtesy of Carico and Oklahoma native (Warr Acres, Okla.) Lici McGee, as UM knotted the match with the 25-22 win.

Going to a fifth set for the third consecutive match – dating back to last season’s NCAA Tournament, Miami fell behind 6-3 after blocks from the Shockers’ Backes and McGee, as well as a set error charged to the `Canes. Following a UM timeout, Miami would fight, but get no closer than a two-point deficit until a kill from redshirt junior Katie Gallagher and an attack error charged to WSU put the set at 9-9.

UM then took a 12-9 lead when Nrithya Sundararaman and Cooke combined for a block, and junior Christine Williamson hammered a kill. A UM service error allowed WSU to stop the run at 12-10, but it was not enough as Cooke collected a kill and joined teammate Carico for a block to take the set and match, 15-10.

Wichita State was led on the afternoon by Backes with 13 kills and four blocks (three assisted). Behind her was Zwiesler with 12 kills and 15 digs in a double-double effort. Sarah Waldorf led the Shockers defensively with a match-high 26 digs. McGee added a match-high 10 blocks for WSU, eight of them being assisted.

Miami was charged by yet another double-double from Carico with a match-high 17 kills and team-high tying 16 digs. For the native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., the double-double was her sixth consecutive dating back to last season. Behind her with back-to-back career-high tying marks in kills was fellow California native (Oakland, Calif.) Ariell Cooke with 14 kills and a team-high five blocks (assisted).

In her first match of the season, setter Katie Gallagher quarterbacked the offense with a match-high 40 assists, while freshman libero Ryan Shaffer recorded a team-high tying 16 digs in the winning effort.

Miami will now face the University of Oklahoma later on Saturday at 7 p.m. (CST) for what is set to be the “championship” of the Nike Invitational.

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