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`Canes Volleyball Set for Home-Opener versus FAU

Aug. 30, 2010

Coral Gables, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team is set for its home-opener on Tues., Aug. 31, playing host to Florida Atlantic University at the James L. Knight Sports Complex on the UM campus in Coral Gables at 6 p.m.

Fresh from their 2-1 record at this past weekend’s Nike Invitational in Norman, Okla., the Miami (2-1) Hurricanes are eager to come home for a match against the in-state Owls of FAU (3-0). UM defeated UT-Arlington and Wichita State – a member of last year’s NCAA Tournament Round of 32, over the weekend in the four-team field hosted by the University of Oklahoma.

UM junior outside hitter Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) led Miami in kills (50), while being named to the Nike Invitational All-Tournament Team. Middle blocker Ariell Cooke (Oakland, Calif.) opened her senior season with consecutive career-high tying performances for kills (14) against UT-Arlington and Wichita State. Cooke finished the weekend with a team second-best 34 kills, while posting a team-high 12 blocks (assisted) and swinging at a team-leading .348 clip (34k-11e-66ta).

Redshirt junior Katie Gallagher (Winter Park, Fla.) saw action in the final two matches of the tournament, setting up 74 assists, while sophomore Nrithya Sundararaman (Naperville, Ill.) saw action at the setter position as well, passing up 65 assists to go along with six kills and six blocks (assisted).

Meanwhile, freshman libero Ryan Shaffer (San Jose, Calif.) paced the `Canes defensively, pulling in a team-high 54 digs (3.86 per set).

FAU comes into Tuesday’s meeting holding a 3-0 record, winning the FGCU Invitational over the weekend in Fort Myers, Fla. The Owls defeated host Florida Gulf Coast, Bethune-Cookman and Houston Baptist en route to the tournament championship.

Leading the charge for the Owls offensively is Christina Wallinger with 34 kills – hitting at a .202 clip, followed by Anne Vaughan with 31 kills and a team second-best 10 blocks (eight assisted). The setter for FAU is Joanne Marras Tate, leading the team with 116 assists. Cintia Nightingale serves as libero, leading the team with 46 digs.

UM leads the all-time series against FAU, 7-3. In fact, Miami has won the last seven matches in the series, dating back to a 3-1 victory on Nov. 6, 2001, in the `Canes first season returning volleyball to Coral Gables. FAU took the first meeting in that year’s series, 3-0; with that serving as the Owls last victory over the Hurricanes.

The `Canes swept the Owls in a home-and-home series during the 2008 season, with UM claiming 3-0 decisions in Coral Gables and Boca Raton, respectively. This is the first meeting between the two South Florida schools since that time (Oct. 7, 2008).

The volleyball match against FAU is the start of a night of Hurricanes women’s athletics in Coral Gables, with the UM soccer team playing host to in-state opponent Florida Gulf Coast at Cobb Stadium (directly adjacent to the James L. Knight Sports Complex) beginning at 7:30, in what is the home-opener for the road-weary UM soccer team, which has played three matches on the road to begin the year. Fans in attendance at the UM-FAU contest are encouraged to attend the soccer match following the conclusion of the volleyball match.

Tickets for both events are $5 for adults and $3 for children. University of Miami students will be admitted free with proper `Cane Card identification.

For more information on the University of Miami volleyball team, please log on to www.hurricanesports.com. Once there, you will find up-to-date news, stats and information regarding the Hurricanes volleyball program.

You can also keep up-to-date with all UM Athletics via twitter at Twitter.com/HurricaneSports.