Hurricane volleyball still perfect

The University of Miami volleyball team (14-0 overall, 2-0 BIG EAST Conference) thrived in its second Big East Conference challenge of the season Sunday, defeating Providence (2-15, 0-2) 3-0 at Mullaney Gymnasium, one day after winning their first league game of the season against Boston College.

With the victory, the Hurricanes improved their nation-leading win streak to 25 matches and remained undefeated on the season.

The Hurricanes were virtually unstoppable in the match, denying the hosts even a single block and relegating the Friars to a .010 hitting percentage. Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said that she was pleased with the workmanlike manner in which her team dispatched Providence.

“It’s good to see us going in and taking immediate control,” the coach said.

The Hurricanes scored by committee, but freshman middle blocker Karla Johnson led the way with 13 kills and an outstanding .650 hitting percentage.

Freshman setter Margie Young chipped in a match high 36 assists. Senior outside hitter Marcela Gamarra led with a match high eight digs.

“We played well and we got great play out of our freshmen,” Lantagne Welch said. “It was a total team effort and we played at the best of our ability.”

On the heels of an 11 total blocks performance against Boston College, Robin Lewullis led at the net with nine total blocks.

The Friars were led by Ayana Cadres, who had 13 kills.

On Saturday, facing a gritty effort by Boston College, the Miami volleyball team emerged with its first Big East Conference victory of the season at Power Gymnasium in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Welch was very pleased with her team’s performance and its ability to face the rigors of road play, an unfamiliar element for the second-year program.

The first two matches went into extra points, with the Hurricanes taking the first 37-35 and BC the second 31-29.

“The match started out very close, they came ready to play and we were a little bit down in the first two games,” Lantagne Welch said.

Miami overwhelmed the hosts in the third game 30-21 and in the fourth lowered the boom for a 30-14 decision.

The key for the Hurricanes, according to Lantagne Welch, was their superb blocking. “This was by far our best blocking match of the season,” the second-year coach said.

Lewullis led the ‘Canes with a career-high combined 11 blocks (two solo, nine assists). “This was her best blocking match so far,” Lantagne Welch said. The 11-block performance was the best by a Hurricane in the two years since the program’s restoration in 2001.

Gamarra led the offense with a match-high 23 kills. Her hitting percentage also topped all competitors at .346 and she was third among Hurricane players with 17 digs.

“Marcela was really steady for us throughout the match, her play was tremendous,” Lantagne Welch said.

Sophomore outside hitter Biz Tyson was second in kills for Miami with 16.

Sophomore setter Mallorey James engineered much of UM’s offense with a match-high 63 assists.

James recently returned to the court following an injury.

“(James) had a nice match and she played better as the match went on,” Lantagne Welch said, adding that it was good to see her making strides toward returning to form.

On defense, sophomore outside hitter Valeria Tipiana had a match high 22 digs, while sophomore libero player Jamie Grass chipped in with 18.

Sophomore outside hitter Katie Andersen led the Eagles with 18 kills and 21 digs.

Miami’s next contest is Oct. 5 at Villanova followed by another match on the road at Georgetown. The team’s next home match is Friday, Oct. 11 when it will host Rutgers at 7 p.m. in the Knight Sports Complex.

Article provided by the UM Sports Information Department.

October 1, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.