Canes Defeat Waves for Pepperdine Asics Classic Title
Sept. 3, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. – Sophomore right side hitter Alex Johnson registered a career-high 21 kills Saturday night to help the University of Miami defeat host Pepperdine University, 3-1 [18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23] in the title match of the Pepperdine Asics Classic at Firestone Fieldhouse.
While senior All-America outside hitter Lane Carico was tabbed Tournament MVP, it was Johnson that provided big plays for Miami (6-0) whenever needed. The Tallahassee, Fla. native staked a team-best .395 attack percentage on her way to a career night.
Similar to UMiami, the Pepperdine Waves (3-2) garnered votes in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll Top 25 leading into the weekend. Both teams entered Saturday night’s match 2-0 on the weekend.
The Waves opened the match with a 25-18 win as they hit .271 as a team with 17 kills. In the process, the Canes were limited to just .106 hitting in the opener. Miami bounced back in the second frame to take a see-saw battle that ended with Carico putting down two of her 13 kills in the match to even the set courtesy a 25-23 win.
With Miami up a set late in the fourth, the Waves erased a 22-19 deficit behind a Kim Hill service ace and a Kellie Woolever kill to knot the set at 22-all. A kill from UM senior outside hitter Christine Williamson put the Canes back up a point before a service error tied the set for just the second time. In the end, the Hurricanes stood tall with blocks by senior Ali Becker and Carico – added a kill from Johnson – and Miami walked away with its second regular season tournament title on the campaign with the 25-23 fourth-set victory.
Pepperdine was led on the night by three players in double figures for kills, topped by Lilla Frederick with a team-high 17. She would go on to corral 16 digs for a double-double, also adding three blocks.
For UM, it was Johnson’s match-high 21-kill performance leading the way offensively, including seven in the all-important fourth set. She would go on to record 14 digs for her third double-double effort on the campaign. Carico added 13 kills and 20 digs for her third double-double of the year, also staking three blocks.
Becker led all players with a match-high six blocks, the second time this season the Katy, Texas native has put down six blocks in a match. Senior setter Katie Gallagher setup the offense with a match-high 51 assists and sophomore libero Ryan Shaffer sprawled out for 26 digs.
Johnson, Carico, Gallagher and Shaffer were all selected to the Pepperdine Asics Classic All-Tournament Team, while Shaffer claimed the Most Valuable Libero award. As mentioned earlier, Carico was named Tournament MVP.
The 6-0 start for Miami is the best since beginning the 2008 campaign at 13-0. UM won a west coast tournament that same season in claiming the Asics/Coca-Cola Invitational in San Francisco. Since 2008, Miami has now won eight regular season tournament titles, including four consecutive dating back to last year.
Miami will return to the hardwood Thursday, Sept. 8 when hosting Florida A&M, Auburn and Oklahoma for the Hurricane Invitational in Coral Gables, Fla. The event will run through Saturday, Sept. 10 and take place inside the James L. Knight Sports Complex.
The University of Miami is excited to announce a new season ticket package that will include two (2) adult and three (3) youth tickets to all home volleyball and soccer events in the 2011 season. The Family Plan provides a family of five with over 20 events for the incredible price of $50. Purchase a Volleyball and Soccer Family Plan by calling 1-800-GO-CANES or simply buy online by clicking here.
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.