Miami Volleyball Beats LSU to Win Tiger Classic
Aug. 27, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. – Outside hitter Christine Williamson recorded 17 kills and tournament MVP Alex Johnson added 14 of her own to lead the University of Miami to the Tiger Classic title by defeating LSU, 3-2, Saturday night inside the Maravich Center.
The Hurricanes won the championship match on scores of 27-25, 13-25, 16-25, 25-22, 15-8.
“Tonight was a great experience because we had success and struggles, yet we were able to turn it around in the end for a victory on their home court,” said UMiami head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch.
Tampa native and redshirt senior Williamson claimed a season-high kills total and grabbed 11 digs for her first career double-double. She also collected two assisted blocks in the win. Overall, the Hurricanes had three players tally double-double performances on the evening.
Miami (3-0) hit just .146 in the match, and the Tigers weren’t much better at .184. However, the Canes took advantage of timely mistakes by LSU (3-1) and capitalized when necessary. UM held the edge in blocking, while LSU was also hurt in committing 10 service errors.
Alex Johnson, a right side sophomore from Tallahassee, continued her strong play on the weekend with 14 kills, two assists, two service aces and 17 digs. Johnson, who had just three double-doubles all of last season, collected two on Saturday in matches against LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette.
After UM won the opening set, 27-25, LSU picked up the tempo behind their strong middles and outside hitters, namely Michele Williams and Helen Boyle. Williams amassed a team-high eight blocks (seven assisted), while Boyle put down 16 kills.
The Hurricanes weathered the storm and home crowd of the Tigers to collect the all-important win in the fourth set behind timely kills from Williamson and blocks from Johnson and redshirt freshman middle blocker Emani Sims. Sims finished the night with a match-high nine blocks (six assisted).
In the fifth set, the Canes surged out to a quick lead and the Tigers were unable to recover.
“We showed some perseverance tonight because things didn’t go our way and they have some excellent middles that we were able to contain pretty well,” said Lantagne Welch. “This was a stepping stone win and a key win in the grand scheme of things. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s an important win for the team and the program.”
LSU was led by Boyle’s 16-kill night, as well as collecting a team-high 20 digs for a double-double effort. Behind her was all-tournament team member Desiree Elliott with 15 kills, while tournament Defensive MVP Meghan Mannari collected a match-high 36 digs.
In addition to double-doubles by Johnson and Williamson, senior All-America outside hitter Lane Carico finished with double-digit kills (11) to go along with 17 digs.
Sophomore libero Ryan Shaffer (team-high 30 digs) and redshirt senior setter Katie Gallagher (40 assists, six digs and three block assists) were also named to the all-tournament team.
Miami returns to action next weekend at the Pepperdine Asics Classic hosted by Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. The Canes will join UC-Santa Barbara, Georgia and Pepperdine in the four-team tournament beginning Friday, Sept. 2.
For more information on the University of Miami volleyball team, please log on to HurricaneSports.com. Once there, you will find up-to-date news, stats and information regarding the Hurricanes volleyball program.
2011 Tiger Classic All-Tournament Team