Miami volleyball hosts tournament

The women’s volleyball team hosted a spring volleyball tournament on Saturday involving the University of Kansas, Florida Atlantic, Barry, University, and Miami-Dade Community College.

The team went 17-7 overall last season in its first volleyball season since 1981. The Hurricanes will enter the Big East Conference next fall. Saturday’s spring tournament was a good test for the Hurricanes to see what kind of talent they have on the team.

“We have a very young team and we got to get a lot of our young players out there and they contributed a lot,” said head coach Nicole Lantagne.

The Hurricanes have been practicing pretty much everyday since their season ended in the fall. This tournament was a great opportunity to face some competition other than each other.

“Everything went pretty good, we had a lot of good matches. . . We practice everyday so it’s nice to get to play in this tournament,” said senior Marcela Gamarra.

In the final game, the ‘Canes defeated Barry University 2-0. In an earlier game, Lantagne sat Marcela Gamarra, the team’s only senior, for an entire game, and the team rallied to win the game against Kansas.

It will be the Big East teams that the Hurricanes will have to beat if they want to do well this season. Regardless of how they do in the upcoming year, Miami will definitely be tested as a team.

“We have a stronger schedule this coming fall and it will be a good test for us because we will be a better team,” said Lantagne. This team has only one senior returning for the upcoming season in Gamarra, who led the team in kills last season. Also returning is sophomore Jamie Grass, who was very impressive in her first season with the Hurricanes volleyball team.

“We have a group now that is coming back together, growing together as a team with Jamie and Marcela as the leaders,” said Lantagne.

“Jamie and I have more experience than the others so we will try to help each other lead this team,” said Gamarra.

The team’s goal for next season is to earn a spot in the Big East Tournament. The tournament only takes the top few teams, so if the Hurricanes want to play in this tournament, they will have to be at the top of their game from the very start of the season.

“The goal would be to make the Big East tournament,” said Lantagne. “They only take the top four teams and we should strive to get to the conference tournament right from the start.”

The ‘Canes open their season at the Wichita State Tournament on August 30th.