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A Message from the Athletic Director: May 2021

Hurricane Fans,

The University’s spring semester ends this week but it’s still a busy month of May for Miami Athletics as many of our teams are gearing up for postseason play.

Our baseball team (24-15) returns to action this weekend, hosting Appalachian State at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. First pitch for Friday’s opener is 7 p.m. Game 2 is Saturday at 7 p.m. while the series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games will be televised by ACC Network Extra. Tune in to root on the Canes! We will host Georgia Tech May 14-16 for our final home series of the regular season before wrapping up ACC play at Louisville.

Our golf team earned its eighth straight NCAA Regional bid and will compete in Baton Rouge, La., May 10-12. The Canes are the ninth seed in the 18-team regional with the top six qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Nataliya Guseva was named ACC Freshman Golfer of the Year, the first Cane to garner an individual ACC honor. Nataliya is currently ranked 24th in the nation and fifth amongst freshman with the second-lowest scoring average in program history (71.44). Congratulations to Nataliya and best of luck to all our golfers at regionals!

Our women’s tennis team earned its 25th consecutive tournament bid and will play FIU Friday. The winner of that match will play the winner between Charleston Southern and UCF, the host team and ninth overall seed, on Saturday. For the third time in her career, Estela Perez-Somarriba is the top-ranked women’s singles player in the country, currently holding the No. 1 position for the first time since February 2020. In addition, Estela was named first-team All-ACC for the fourth time and freshman Isabella Pfennig was named second-team All-ACC. Congratulations to Estela and Isabella and good luck to the Canes in Orlando!

Our men’s tennis team earned its third straight NCAA berth and is also heading to Orlando. The Canes play Mississippi State Saturday at 2 p.m. with host and ninth-seed UCF facing Monmouth in the other matchup. The winners will square off Sunday. Adria Soriano Barrera became the first Cane to be named first-team All-ACC, while Bojan Jankulovski picked up third-team honors. Congratulations to Adria and Bojan and best of luck to the Canes in Orlando!

Our track and field squad is preparing for the ACC Outdoor Championships, which will take place in Raleigh, N.C., from May 13-16. Our women’s team is currently ranked 14th in the country, boasting NCAA Top 10 times in four events. Good luck to the Canes at the conference meet!

Our rowing team is also preparing for the ACC Championships, which will be hosted by Clemson on May 14-15. Good luck to our rowers!

Four Canes were selected in last week’s 2021 NFL Draft, including defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau, who were both selected in the first round. Jaelan will keep making big plays at Hard Rock Stadium after going to the Miami Dolphins with the 18th overall pick, while Greg will be joining the reigning AFC East champion Buffalo Bills, who selected him with the 30th pick. It was the first time the Canes have had two first-round picks since 2015. Tight end Brevin Jordan was selected in the fifth round by the Houston Texans, while defensive end Quincy Roche was picked by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round. Kicker Jose Borregales signed a free agent contract with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which means all five of our draft eligible players landed on NFL rosters. Congratulations to our newest ProCanes!

Spring Graduation is slated for May 14 at Hard Rock Stadium and 70 of our student-athletes will be graduating, representing 13 of our teams. I am so proud of these student-athletes, especially considering what they have had to navigate in the classroom and competition throughout the pandemic. Congratulations to all of our graduates and their families!

We will be holding the seventh annual Celebration of Women’s Athletics presented by adidas in June. We are excited to be able to continue the CWA – it has become one of our signature annual events and despite the current challenges of holding in-person events we still want to recognize, honor and celebrate these incredible female student-athletes. There will be a weeklong celebration culminating with an online ceremony. Dates and times will be announced soon.

We recently launched the 2021 Hurricane Club Student Impact Fund annual campaign, which offers a great way to make an immediate impact and help ensure that we support our student-athletes athletically, academically and culturally for years to come. Gifts to the Student Impact Fund support scholarships, academic services, medical care and comprehensive well-being, nutritional programs, and leadership development. For more information on the how you can help us Build Champions by supporting the Student Impact Fund, please call the Hurricane Club at 305-284-6699 or visit www.UHurricaneClub.com.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, please feel free to contact a member of our staff. For the latest information on UM Athletics, please be sure to visit our website — miamihurricanes.com – download our Miami Hurricanes app or follow us on our various social media channels. I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. Enjoy this month’s magazine!

Go Canes!

Blake James