Miami Defeats Northern Illinois in NCAA Tournament

Miami Defeats Northern Illinois in NCAA Tournament

Dec. 2, 2011







AMES, Iowa – Christine Williamson placed 18 kills while hitting at a .630 clip to help lead the 25th-ranked University of Miami past Northern Illinois, 3-1, in opening round action of the NCAA Tournament inside Hilton Coliseum on Friday evening. The match was the first of the Ames [Iowa] bracket in the Minneapolis [Minn.] Regional.

The Canes collected the win on scores of 25-17, 21-25, 25-12 and 26-24.

Miami (26-4) bolted out to a quick lead in the third set and never looked back as senior All-America outside hitter Lane Carico registered six kills and redshirt freshman Emani Sims put down a block to go along with great defense by the Canes. UMiami held the Huskies to just .075 hitting in the frame en route to a 25-12 win.

The third set score was the second-largest margin of victory for the Canes this season in a 25-point set.

In the fourth set, Miami fell behind at 17-16 when Northern Illinois (28-7) teammates Mary Kurisch and MacKenzie Roddy met for a block on Canes’ hitter Carico. The Canes would storm back to take a 23-21 advantage behind blocks from Sims and redshirt senior outside hitter Christine Williamson, as well as a Williamson kill.

With the score later tied at 24-all, sophomore right side Alex Johnson and Carico placed the final two kills of the match to help Miami to its first NCAA Tournament win since defeating Wisconsin, 3-1, in 2002. That season, the Hurricanes advanced to the Sweet 16 of the tournament.

Leading 1-0 in the match, Miami fell behind 5-0 to start the second set before rallying to take a 10-9 advantage behind kills from Williamson. Also providing kills was classmate Carico.

NIU stormed back with a block from Sarah Angelos and timely kills from Lauren Wicinski, the nation’s leader in kills and points. The Huskies forced the Hurricanes into five errors in the set and collected the 25-21 decision to knot the match at 1-all as the teams split for intermission.

UMiami fell behind 8-3 in the opening set before Carico served for seven consecutive points for the Hurricanes, putting them in front at 10-8. Carico collected two service aces during the run. As the Canes hit at a .481 clip in the opener, it was Williamson providing the team with eight kills in the opener. The Tampa, Fla. native hit at a .636 clip on 11 swings.

Miami took the opening set, 25-17.

Box Score | Box Score (PDF) | Season Stats (PDF)
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Northern Illinois 17 25 12 24
No. 25 Miami 25 21 25 26
Team Stat Comparison
  Miami NIU
Kills 63 56
Errors 12 22
Total Attempts 151 170
Hitting Percentage .338 .200
Assists 58 54
Service Aces 5 3
Digs 80 66
Block Assists 22 6
Block Solo 1 1
Points 80.0 63.0
Miami Stat Leaders NIU
C. Williamson 18 Kills 23 L. Wicinski
C. Williamson .630 Pct. .318 S. Angelos
K. Gallagher 47 Assists 47 K. Hoffman
R. Shaffer 22 Digs 24 A. Walker
E. Sims 6 Blocks 3 M. Kurisch


The Huskies were led in the match by Wicinski with a match-high 23 kills and six digs. She would finish as the only Huskies player in double figures.

The Canes used Williamson’s 18 kills and four blocks, while the Tampa finished with a match-high .630 hitting percentage. Carico finished with 15 kills and 11 digs for her 12th consecutive double-double. Johnson also finished in double figures for kills with 11, adding 13 digs for her seventh double-double of the campaign.

Setter Katie Gallagher handed out a match-high tying 47 assists and picked up 16 digs for the double-double effort. Libero Ryan Shaffer sprawled out for 22 digs while teammate Sims recorded a match-high six blocks.

The Hurricanes will now face host and No. 4 overall seed Iowa State on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Central. The Cyclones defeated the UW-Milwaukee Panthers by a 3-0 count on scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-23.

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University of Miami Postgame Notes:

With the win, the Hurricanes are now…

  • 26-4 overall
  • 10-0 against non-conference opponents
  • 1-0 all-time against Northern Illinois
  • 5-0 in neutral sites
  • 1-0 in the month of December
  • 8-1 in four-set matches
  • 22-2 when winning the opening set

Opening It Up
The Hurricanes have won the opening set of their last three NCAA Tournament matches.

Back in the Win Column
With the win tonight, Miami collected its first NCAA Tournament victory since upsetting Wisconsin, 3-1, in Madison, Wis. on Dec. 7, 2002 advancing the Canes into the Sweet 16.

Williamson In the Zone
Redshirt senior Christine Williamson registered 18 kills in the match, giving her seven matches this year in which she’s registered double-digit kills. It was also the third consecutive time she’s accumulated double-digit kills in an NCAA Tournament match (19 vs. FIU – 2009; 12 vs. Indiana – 2010).

Double My Fun
Lane Carico extended her streak of consecutive double-doubles to 12 matches. The 2011 ACC Player of the Year now has 24 double-doubles on the season.

Canes Back In the Tournament

Tonight’s appearance marked the fourth time in school history the University of Miami has appeared in the NCAA Tournament – 2002, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Canes advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2002 Tournament and fell in five-set matches in each of the past two seasons.