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Volleyball Throws Block Party

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Behind a balanced attack and thethird-most total blocks in school history, the University of Miami volleyballteam defeated North Carolina, 3-1, on Sunday at the Knight Sports Complex. TheCanes won their 14th straight at home and are currently riding afour-match winning streak.

UMwon by set scores of 25-18, 27-25, 23-25 and 25-14 to improve to 14-3 on theyear and 6-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while UNC dropped to 13-4 and4-3. Miami sits in a tie for first in the standings with Florida State, a teamthe Canes defeated earlier in the season.

“Acritical point in the match today was coming back in the second set after UNCtook a lead,” head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “We showed a lot ofresiliency there to take a 2-0 advantage, which was important. They puttogether a strong set in the third, but we were able to regroup with strongblocking and serving to win the fourth.”

Afterwinning the first handily, Miami fell behind 23-20 in the second. The Tar Heelsthen committed an attack error and sophomore middle blocker Alexis Mourning andjunior outside hitter Taylor Hollins each put down kills to even the score at23. Junior right side Alex Johnson recorded a service ace to give UM set point,but UNC won the next two exchanges to put themselves a point from evening thematch. However, the Hurricanes fought back with a kill by Mourning, an attackerror and a kill by Johnson to take a commanding 2-0 lead. The set included 12ties and seven lead changes.

Upagainst the wall, North Carolina jumped out to a 16-10 advantage in the thirdand held off a furious UM rally to take a set. The visiting momentum would notcarry over, as Miami took a 10-4 lead and registered six blocks in the fourthto take the match.

Mourningregistered a career-high 10 block assists in the match, one off the schoolrecord set by Ciara Michel at Virginia Tech in 2004. As a team, the Canes had18.0 total blocks, tied for the third-most in a match in program history.Senior setter Nrithya Sundararaman (seven) matched her career high andsophomore middle blocker Emani Sims set a new season best (eight) at the net.

Johnsonand Sims led Miami with 10 kills on the day, while Hollins and Mourning hadnine each. Hollins also led the team with 10 digs and Sundararaman registered40 assists. Twelve different players saw action for the Canes.

“Wehad some little adjustments throughout the match that we wanted to throw outthere to spark a run,” Lantagne Welch said. “Our bench played great today andthey have continued to lift us.”

ChanielNelson had a match-high 12 kills for UNC, while Cora Harms recorded 40 assists,13 digs and six kills.

Miamiwill hit the road next weekend with matches against Maryland and Boston Collegeon Friday and Sunday.

The UMTicket Office is pleased to offer single game tickets to home volleyball matchesat the Knight Complex for as low as $3. Call 1-800-GO-CANES to order yourtickets today.

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