Miami Welcomes Duke, Wake Forest for ACC Showdowns

Oct. 21, 2010

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Coral Gables, Fla. – The University of Miami returns home this weekend, playing host to Duke and Wake Forest at the James L. Knight Sports Complex. The `Canes welcome Duke on Fri., Oct. 22, where UM will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of volleyball returning to Coral Gables. On Sun., Oct. 24, Miami plays Wake Forest in this year’s “Dig Pink” match supporting Breast Cancer Awareness.

Miami (15-5, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) has rolled off three consecutive match wins behind the play of junior outside hitter Christine Williamson (Tampa, Fla.) and classmate Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.). Redshirt junior setter Katie Gallagher (Winter Park, Fla.) leads the conference in assists with 11.13 per set (757 total), while Carico ranks third in kills at 3.50 per set (250 total). Carico is also tied for third in the league with 25 service aces.

As a team, the Hurricanes are third in the league in hitting percentage (.254), while leading the ACC in assists (1,005) behind the play of Gallagher, assisted by sophomore Nrithya Sundararaman (Naperville, Ill.). The `Canes also top the ACC in kills with 14.45 per set (1,069), as five players have eclipsed 100 kills on the campaign. Both Carico (259) and Williamson (214) lead UM in that category.

Defensively, UM is led by freshman libero Ryan Shaffer (San Jose, Calif.) with 277 digs (3.96 per set), as Carico is just behind her with 272 (3.68 per set). Freshmen Alexandria Johnson (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Taylor Hollins (Long Beach, Calif.) each have staked 172 digs for the Hurricanes.

Both matches this weekend will be streamed live via All-Access on www.hurricanesports.com, and will also have live audio through WVUM (www.wvum.org). A live chat for both matches will be available through www.CoverItLive.com.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the University of Miami is also continuing its drive to support breast cancer awareness through the “Side-Out Foundation” before the ‘Canes take part in their “Dig Pink” match against Wake Forest on Sun., Oct. 24. Prior to and during the match, the Hurricanes will wear pink warm-up T-shirts, as well as pink ribbons and other apparel during their match against the Demon Deacons.

To support the Hurricanes’ cause and give your donation to help support breast cancer awareness, please visit http://www.side-out.org/application/teams/team_page/1727.

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.

Quick Hits on Duke…
The Blue Devils of Duke enter Friday’s matched ranked atop the ACC standings with a record of 7-1 in league play, and 15-3 overall. Duke’s lone league loss came against Virginia Tech (L, 3-1) in its last contest on the road. Prior to that loss, the Blue Devils had rolled off seven consecutive wins. Duke leads the league in opponent hitting percentage, holding its counterparts to just a .150 clip on the year.

Leading the way in kills for the Blue Devils is senior middle blocker Becci Burling with 211 (3.10 per set), along with four other players topping the 100-kill plateau. Junior middle blocker/outside hitter Sophia Dunworth has 187 kills (3.02 per set), as Amanda Robertson chips in with 169 (2.56 per set). The setter for the Blue Devils is Tampa native Kellie Catanach, leading the way with 732 assists (10.93 per set). The defense is sparked by Ali McCurdy, leading the charge with 326 digs (4.79 per set). Claire Smalzer has recorded a team second-best 207 digs (3.04 per set).

Series against the Blue Devils…
Duke leads the all-time series against the Hurricanes by a 9-3 margin. The Blue Devils took both matches against the Hurricanes a season ago, winning in Durham and Coral Gables by 3-0 decisions.

Quick Hits on Wake Forest…
Wake Forest enters the weekend road trip with a record of 12-7 overall, and are tied with UM and Maryland for fifth place with a 5-4 ACC mark.

The Demon Deacons use two players with 200-plus kills on the year, led by junior West Palm Beach native Kadija Fornah with 214 kills (3.24 per set) and sophomore Andrea Beck with 209 kills (3.17 per set). The Demon Deacons have two setters, using Kelsey Jones as the primary with a team-leading 526 assists (10.52 per set). Behind her is Megan Carnell with 201 assists (9.14 per set).

The libero for Wake Forest is senior Megan Thornberry, paving the way with 303 digs (4.59 per set). Kristen White (161 digs) and Fornah (157 digs) have also tallied 150-plus digs on the campaign.

Series against the Demon Deacons…
Miami leads the all-time series between these two schools by an 8-4 count. UM took both matches in the series against the Demon Deacons last season with 3-1 decisions in each contest.

Miami Volleyball – 10 Years Strong…
When the Hurricanes host Duke on Oct. 22, head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch and the Hurricanes program will be celebrating this year as the 10th anniversary of the return of Hurricanes volleyball to Coral Gables. Lantagne Welch and her staff will be honoring all former `Canes in attendance at the match, as all are invited to come back for this special event.

Volleyball: Duke at Miami