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11 October 2010

Canes salvage final weekend match against Tigers

The University of Miami volleyball team salvaged its weekend series against two ACC foes, coming away with a victory against Clemson following a tough five-set loss to Georgia Tech on Friday night.

Miami (13-5, 3-4) was in jeopardy of losing its fourth straight match, but was able to come away with a relatively easy, and much needed, conference win on Sunday afternoon.

Miami beat Clemson in four sets 25-22, 18-25, 25-18 and 25-15.

The Hurricanes started off the year playing very good volleyball, but the ACC schedule has proved to be challenging for Miami in its early stages. The Canes did not win a set last weekend in two matches away from home against UNC and NC State.

Coming off of those two losses made Friday’s defeat in Coral Gables against Georgia Tech even harder to take for the Hurricane players.

“They fought harder than we did,” junior outside hitter Lane Carico said following the match. “Part of fighting hard is mentally being disciplined and we just weren’t all there tonight.”

Up until this point, head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch’s team had transitioned quite nicely from losing a talented group of upperclassmen to graduation.

On Friday night, however, for the first time at the Knight Sports Complex, it was apparent that the Hurricanes do indeed miss former libero Cassie Loessberg, now a student assistant with the team.

Georgia Tech overpowered Miami in the latter stages of the match and the Canes’ libero-by-committee had a very difficult time getting consistent digs on balls that the Ramblin’ Wreck’s fierce outside hitters delivered.

“We need to come together as a team…I feel like if we don’t hold back no one can stop us,” Carico said.

Carico was true to her word. Miami regrouped nicely and stopped the bleeding on Sunday afternoon against Clemson.

At the risk of overstating the importance of a mid-season conference match, beating the Tigers was big for the Hurricanes. The team can now focus on its upcoming matches against Maryland and Boston College without the weight of a four-match losing streak on its collective mind.

Toward the end of the week, Miami will travel to College Park, Md. to face the Terps on Friday night. Following that match the Hurricanes will head to Massachusetts take on Boston College on Sunday afternoon.

Miami will return to Coral Gables on Oct. 22 for a match against Duke at the Knight Sports Complex.

Adam Berger may be contacted at aberger@themiamihurricane.com.