Miami Returns Home for Weekend Slate of Matches

Nov. 11, 2010

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Coral Gables, Fla. – After four consecutive matches on the road, the University of Miami volleyball team returns home to begin a four-match homestand this weekend. UM welcomes NC State (Fri., Nov. 12) and North Carolina (Sun., Nov. 14) to the James L. Knight Sports Complex on the campus of UM. The NC State match begins at 7 p.m., and the UNC match will start at 1 p.m.

Miami (18-8, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) is currently atop a five-way tie for fourth place in the ACC standings with Virginia Tech, Florida State, Maryland and Wake Forest. UM swept the Hokies this season, and defeated both Maryland and Wake Forest in previous meetings on the season. FSU defeated UM in the ACC-opener for both teams.

The `Canes have an RPI rating of 31 in the latest NCAA RPI ranking, with only North Carolina, Duke and Florida State ahead of the `Canes on the list out of the ACC. Last season, Miami’s 33rd -rated RPI ranking was a factor in helping UM into the NCAA Tournament [Coral Gables Regional].

Junior outside hitter Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) is ranked third in the league for kills (360 total / 3.64 per set) and service aces (31 / 0.31 per set). Carico leads the team with 21 double-doubles–including 11 consecutive matches. She is second on the team in digs with 370 (3.74 per set), and fourth on the squad in blocks with 45 (0.47 per set).

Fellow junior outside hitter Christine Williamson (Tampa, Fla.) is second on the team in kills with 284 (2.90 per set), with senior middle blocker Ariell Cooke (Oakland, Calif.) sitting third at 186 kills (2.04 per set).

Setter Katie Gallagher (Winter Park, Fla.) is fourth in the league for assists, setting up 10.75 per set (1,000 total). Freshman libero Ryan Shaffer (San Jose, Calif.) leads the team defensively with 397 digs (4.18 per set), ranking eighth in the conference. Junior middle blocker Ali Becker (Katy, Texas) has been solid at the net with a team-best 78 blocks (0.89 per set). Becker also has 176 kills (2.00 per set) and hits at a .322 clip for the `Canes.

The match against UNC on Sunday has been dubbed Hurricane Club Appreciation Day. To show our appreciation for your continued support of the Hurricane Club, you will receive complimentary admission by presenting your Hurricane Club Membership ID Card. In addition, there will be an exclusive Hurricane Club Meet & Greet with the team following the match, and door prizes throughout the match.

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 NC State…
NC State enters its match in Coral Gables with a record of 13-14 overall (3-12 ACC). The Wolfpack use two players with 200-plus kills, led by Margaret Salata with 253 (2.84 per set) as she hits at a .341 clip. Behind her is Luciana Shafer with 242 kills (2.63 per set). Salata ranks seventh in the ACC in blocks (1.08 per set), ninth in hitting percentage and ninth service aces (26 / 0.28 per set).

The setter for the Wolfpack is Megan Cyr, leading the team with 950 assists (10.22 per set) – ranking her sixth in the league in that department. The defense is paced by Kelly Wood with a team-leading 314 digs (3.38 per set). Shafer (249), Cyr (212) and Alex Smith (208) also have 200-plus digs for the Pack.

Series against the Wolfpack…
Miami holds a commanding 11-1 all-time series record against NC State. Prior to this season, the Hurricanes were perfect against the Wolfpack. NC State claimed a 3-0 victory against UM on Oct. 3 of this year in Raleigh, N.C. Miami has swept the Wolfpack in four of the last five meetings.

Quick Hits on North Carolina…
The Tar Heels of North Carolina come into Friday’s contest as the second ranked team in the ACC, sporting a 12-3 league record, while sitting 21-7 overall. Before falling to arch-rival Duke last weekend, the Tar Heels had rolled off six consecutive conference wins against league opponents.

UNC is led offensively by Courtney Johnston with 291 kills (3.20 per set), while teammate Christine Vaughen has a team-leading .344 hitting percentage and is third on the squad with 246 kills (2.48 per set). Two more Tar Heels have 200-plus kills in Emily McGee (250) and Suzanne Haydel (217). Shelby Bleke leads the squad in blocks (99), with Vaughen seated second (67). The Tar Heels utilize a two-setter system, using Cora Harms (711 assists) and Erica Behm (446 assists). The libero for the Tar Heels is Kaylie Gibson, leading the way in digs with 537 (5.42 per set).

Series against the Tar Heels…
With the victory in Chapel Hill earlier this season, the Tar Heels moved ahead in the series, 9-8. UNC has won the last three meetings in the series, winning the only match-up between the two last season in Coral Gables, as well as the previous match this year at home.

In-Match Chat…
HurricaneSports.com will feature a live gameday chat for fans to follow at home or in the office. To participate in the in-match, return to this page 10-minutes prior to the start of the match. Live stats will also be available through Game Tracker at HurricaneSports.com.