UM Begins Four-Match Road Slate at Virginia, Virginia Tech

UM Begins Four-Match Road Slate at Virginia, Virginia Tech

Oct. 28, 2010

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Coral Gables, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team gets back to the road for the first two of a four-match road stretch to begin the second half of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, beginning this weekend in the Commonwealth State at the University of Virginia (Oct. 29) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 30). The match against Virginia is scheduled for 7 p.m., while the Virginia Tech match begins at 6 p.m.

UM (16-6, 6-5 ACC) enters the weekend road swing winners in four of the last five matches. The lone loss during that stretch occurred last Friday at home to Duke in a five-set fashion. The `Canes took their last two road matches at Maryland and Boston College two weeks ago, and took down both opponents for this weekend earlier on the year in Coral Gables.

As a team, the `Canes lead the conference in assists, thanks mostly to the play of redshirt junior setter Katie Gallagher with a league second-best 827 assists. UM also ranks atop the league in kills, holding 1,179 on the year–using junior outside hitter Lane Carico for a majority of those kills with a team-leading 291, placing her third in the league in that category. The `Canes are ranked second in the league for hitting percentage (.259); service aces (111); and digs (17.16 per set).

Carico has collected a team-leading 17 double-doubles on the year, including seven consecutive entering the weekend. Fellow junior outside hitter Christine Williamson is behind Carico with 240 kills (2.96 per set), and hits at a .281 clip for the `Canes.

The libero position is held by freshman Ryan Shaffer with a team-leading 325 (4.17 per set), and Carico follows with an even 300 (3.66 per set). Shaffer joins Cassie Loessberg and Jamie Grass as the only other players in UM history to stake 30-plus digs in a single match, picking up 32 versus Duke on Fri., Oct. 22.

After returning from the state of Virginia, Miami takes to the road again next weekend to face Clemson (Nov. 5) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 6) in what has traditionally been a tough road trip for the `Canes.

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Quick Hits on Virginia…
The Virginia Cavaliers, coming off a loss in their last match to UNC, look to rebound when they play Miami at home on Fri., Oct. 29, in another ACC tilt. The Cavs have struggled this season, sitting near the bottom of the ACC standings with just a 4-7 league mark, and holding a 10-11 record overall. Virginia enters Friday’s match-up having lost three of its last four matches.

The Cavaliers are led by junior Simon Asque, who is second in the ACC with 321 kills and 28 aces, and second on the team with 153 digs. Sophomore Jessica O’Shoney sits second on the team with 170 kills, and ranks fifth in the conference with a .357 hitting percentage. Beth Wildermuth, another sophomore, leads the team with 664 assists–well enough for eighth in the ACC. As a freshman, libero Emily Rottman leads the team with 229 digs.

Series against the Cavaliers…
With the University of Miami taking two out of the last three meetings in the series, UM has cut into the Virginia lead, 7-5. Miami won this year’s first meeting in Coral Gables by a 3-1 count. In this series, the Hurricanes have lost tough matches in Charlottesville over the last two years, with the 2008 loss possibly being a reason for the `Canes not being invited to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Quick Hits on Virginia Tech…
Virginia Tech enters the weekend stretch against the Seminoles and Hurricanes surging, having won four out of their last five matches, including a three-set sweep at NC State in its last contest. Virginia Tech is 5-6 in ACC play, and 14-7 overall, placing the Hokies in the middle of the pack in the ACC standings. A couple of Hokies won weekly awards last week, with senior Felicia Willoughby taking home ACC Player of the Week honors, and freshman Victoria Hamsher earning ACC Freshman of the Week accolades–the first time a Hokie has ever won that honor.

Sophomore outside hitter Cara Baarendse leads the team with 244 kills, and senior Felicia Willoughby sits second on the team in that category with 220. Junior Erin Leaser leads the team and is fourth in the league overall in that stat column with 836 assists. No one else on the team has more than 36. The players with the two most digs are senior Amy Wengrenovich with 209, and sophomore Morgan O’Neill with 197.

Series against the Hokies…
Miami leads the all-time series against the Hokies with a 10-5 edge in the series that began with both teams as former members of the BIG EAST Conference. The `Canes have claimed the last two meetings between the two teams, including a 3-0 decision in Coral Gables earlier this season. Overall, Miami has won five of the last seven matches against the Hokies.

Home Is Where the Hits Are…
In 11 matches at home on the year for Miami, the Hurricanes are out-hitting their counterparts by almost a full .100 clip. UM hits .300 at home on the year (using an 8-3 record), while limiting opponents to just .205. On the road, the `Canes are hitting just .193, while the opposition hits at a .181 count.