No. 20 Miami Returns Home for Wake Forest, Duke
Sept. 29, 2011
Coral Gables, Fla. – The No. 20 University of Miami volleyball team returns home to the James L. Knight Sports Complex this weekend to host Wake Forest and Duke in a pair of ACC matches. UM plays Wake Forest on Friday, Sept. 30 (7 p.m.), followed by Duke on Sunday, Oct. 2 (1:30 p.m.).
Last weekend, UM won its first-ever matches as a ranked team when the Hurricanes swept both Virginia Tech and Virginia on the road in the “Commonwealth State”. It was the first win for Miami at the University of Virginia since 2007.
Miami (11-1, 2-1 ACC) enters the weekend with an eight-match home win streak intact dating back to last year versus Duke. The Blue Devils were predicted as the preseason ACC champion by the league’s head coaches prior to the start of the season.
Now in her 11th year at the helm, University of Miami head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch and the Hurricanes will look towards a strong front line with Ali Becker, Emani Sims and Alex Johnson to try and record two more wins this weekend. Sims, a redshirt freshman, leads all players with 40 blocks (1.00 per set), while senior Becker is just behind her with 37. Becker ranks eighth in the ACC for hitting percentage (.350).
Johnson leads the team in kills (131) and Carico sits just behind her with 116 (3.05 k/s). Carico is also second on the team in digs with 164 (4.32 d/s). Setter Katie Gallagher leads the team in assists with 430 (10.75 a/s). Sophomore libero Ryan Shaffer tops the team in digs with 184 (4.60 d/s). Gallagher and Shaffer rank amongst the league’s top five in digs (Shaffer) and assists (Gallagher).
As a team, Miami ranks second in the ACC for kills per set (14.35). The Canes lead the ACC in digs per set for league matches. In their 11 wins on the season, the Canes have claimed eight sweeps against their opponents.
Each home match features live stats and video through HurricaneSports.com. The video is available through Canes All-Access, while stats are free by Game Tracker. The matches will also feature live radio commentary by WVUM – available at WVUM.org or 90.5 FM – the student-voice of the Miami Hurricanes.
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.
Scouting Wake Forest
Wake Forest enters Friday’s contest with a 4-8 overall record and a 1-2 mark in the ACC. The Demon Deacons are 0-2 on the road this season.
Wake Forest is led by Kadija Fornah with 130 kills (3.17 k/s) and Carlin Salmon with 115 (2.80 k/s). Salmon leads the team in blocks (46) and Dani Thompson is the team’s leader in digs with 134 (3.44 d/s). Right behind her in digs is Fornah with 115 (2.80 d/s).
Series against the Demon Deacons
Miami leads the all-time series against Wake Forest by an 8-4 count. The Hurricanes have won the last three meetings against the Demon Deacons.
ACC preseason favorite Duke comes into the weekend with a 9-4 overall record, but an unblemished 3-0 mark in the conference. The Blue Devils are coming off of a gutsy five-set win over Clemson last Saturday in a match that featured the second lost fifth set during the NCAA’s rally scoring era. The Blue Devils fought off six match points in that final frame to eventually claim a 25-23 fifth-set victory after trailing two sets to one in the fourth set.
Junior middle blocker Christiana Gray was named ACC Player of the Week for her performance last weekend. Gray hit .457 with 24 kills in the two victories and hoisted Duke to the win over Clemson by connecting on nine of her final 11 attacks without committing an error. Gray has hit .438 or better in three straight matches, all of which are Duke victories. The 6-5 middle blocker is part of a balanced Duke attack that features four players with at least 100 kills.
Series against the Blue Devils
Duke holds a commanding 10-3 advantage in the all-time series against UMiami. The Blue Devils have won the previous three meetings against the Hurricanes. However, Miami won both match-ups in 2008, including the school’s first-ever win in Durham.
The Blue Devils gave UM its last home loss a season ago on the strength of an action-packed 3-2 come-from-behind decision.
Carico Approaching School Record
Senior All-America outside hitter Lane Carico needs just 23 kills to pass Karla Johnson (2002-05) on the school’s all-time list for career kills. Carico has 1,462 career kills.
Miami Storms Through Commonwealth State
Last weekend, the No. 21 Hurricanes swept through the state of Virginia defeating both Virginia Tech and Virginia with 3-0 decisions. For UMiami, it was the first time since 2007 it had beaten the Cavaliers of UVa on the road.