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A Message From The Athletics Director - February

Hurricane Fans,
 
It’s an exciting time of year in Coral Gables as our winter sports are pushing toward postseason play, while our spring sports are off to a terrific start in their 2019 campaigns.
 
The Gino DiMare era is off to a rousing start as our baseball team has won its first four games of the season, including a sweep of Rutgers and an 11-4 win over FAU at The Light last night. The Hurricanes are averaging more than 11 runs per game, including a 19-3 win in the opener against the Scarlet Knights, which set a school record for runs scored on opening day against a Division I opponent. Next up for the Hurricanes is a trip to Gainesville for a three-game set against fourth-ranked Florida. Good luck to the Canes!
 
Our women’s basketball team is on a roll as Katie Meier’s squad upset second-ranked Louisville 79-73 this past weekend – UM’s first-ever win over a team ranked in the nation’s top three! The Hurricanes rallied from a 14-point deficit and showed remarkable poise and toughness down the stretch in front of a boisterous Cardinals crowd. We are now 22-5 overall, 10-2 in the ACC and ranked 14th in the country. Next up is a trip to Virginia Tech tonight, followed by a huge home matchup with Florida State Sunday at noon. Let’s pack Watsco Center Sunday! For ticket information call 1-800-GO-CANES or visit hurricanesports.com/tickets
 
Jim Larrañaga’s squad continues to battle through a rigorous ACC slate and will be seeking its third straight home conference win this Saturday at Watsco Center, when the Hurricanes host Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. We hope to see you there at Watsco! Order your tickets today to help cheer the Canes on the victory!
 
Manny Diaz and his coaching staff have returned from the recruiting trail and are preparing for spring football, which kicks off on March 19. We will release our entire spring schedule soon, including details on our annual Spring Game. If you haven’t yet secured your football season tickets please call 1-800-GO-CANES or visit hurricanesports.com/tickets. You won’t want to miss a moment of the action at Hard Rock Stadium this fall!
 
Amy Deem’s track and field squad is preparing for the ACC Indoor Championships, which start today in Blacksburg, Va. The Hurricanes have posted a strong indoor season thus far. Our women’s team has registered the nation’s second-best mark in the pentathlon by Michelle Atherley, the sixth-fastest time in the 60m hurdles by sophomore Tiara McMinn and the ninth fastest time in the women’s 4x400m relay. On the men’s side, Kevin Arreaga recently recorded the school’s second-best mark in the men’s weight throw. Good luck to all of the Canes at ACCs!
 
Our swimming and diving team is in Greensboro this week for ACC Championships, and two of our divers have captured gold medals. Sophomore Alicia Blagg defended her ACC title with a win in the 3-meter springboard, while senior Briadam Herrera won the 1-meter springboard – his fifth career gold medal. Congratulations to Alicia, Briadam and head coach Randy Ableman! Andy Kershaw’s swimmers hit the pool today after posting 14 lifetime bests last weekend in their final tune-up for the conference meet. Good luck to the Canes in Greensboro!
 
Both of our tennis teams host ACC rivals this weekend. Our men’s squad, led by 24th-ranked Adria Soriano Barrera, faces Georgia Tech on Friday at 2 p.m. and then Clemson on Sunday at 10 a.m. Our 18th-ranked women’s team, led by seventh-ranked Estela Perez-Somarriba, entertains No. 4 Duke later Sunday at 2 p.m. Come out to Neil Schiff Tennis Center to catch some terrific tennis action!
 
Patti Rizzo’s 25th-ranked golf team is coming off a solid showing against a stellar field at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, finishing 10th in a field that included eight other ranked teams. The Hurricanes have the next two weeks off before returning to action in Gainesville at the Sun Trust Gator Invitational.
 
Longtime Golden Cane BJ Abolt recently pledged the largest gift commitment in the history of our women’s basketball program. The seven-figure estate gift will establish a women’s basketball scholarship endowment. Named after head coach Katie Meier at BJ’s request, it will be the first fully-endowed women’s athletics scholarship at Miami. Thank you to BJ for her transformational gift and her continued support. It is because of people like her that we are able to provide our student-athletes with such exceptional experiences in our quest to build champions at The U.
 
Earlier this month, we had another record crowd at our fifth annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics presented by adidas. ESPN’s Allison Williams hosted the event as we recognized outstanding student-athletes from each of our women’s sports. Our Building Women Champions campaign continues to build momentum. The campaign is an initiative that will enhance scholarship support, leadership development and career coaching for Hurricane female student-athletes. Please visit buildingwomenchampions.com to learn how you can help.
 
I want to again extend my heartfelt thanks to Carol Soffer and her family for the lead gift for the magnificent new Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility. We have already raised more than $36 million but are not done yet — and we still need your support. Your donations will ensure that this facility continues to be one of the best in the country. Visit Give2IPF.com to pledge your support.
 
For the latest information on each of our varsity teams, please be sure to visit HurricaneSports.com or follow us on Twitter @MiamiHurricanes. Enjoy this month’s magazine!
 
Go Canes!
Blake James