UM Volleyball sweeps past league foes

The brisk November weather didn’t affect the heat inside the Knight Sports Complex this weekend as the Hurricanes whipped through it, leaving both Notre Dame and Syracuse in their path of destruction. The win over the Orangemen clinched UM’s spot in the Big East Conference Championships.
On Friday, Miami (24-4, 9-3 in Big East play) slipped by the Irish (21-6, 11-1 in the Big East) in five games (30-25, 30-28, 25-30, 22-30, 15-7). Sophomore Valeria Tipiana led the team with 28 kills in front of an electrified crowd of 1,091. Sophomore Biz Tyson posted a team high four aces, and freshman Robin Lewullis had the most blocks with five.
“That was a huge, huge win for us and we were thrilled,” said head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch. “It was an unbelievable match for us and it meant so much. We had to appreciate that win for a day and then get back into the gym and take care of a very steady and good Syracuse team.”
That they did. Senior Marcela Gamarra was honored Sunday before the game as the sole senior on the Hurricane team, which reappeared in 2001 after a 19 year hiatus. Gamarra transferred to UM from Miami-Dade Community College, where she received All-Southern Conference honors in 1999 and 2000. She had a team high 16 kills against Syracuse.
UM came into their last regular season match Sunday pumped from the Irish upset but ready to get down to business again. They pulled ahead early on and held a narrow lead through most of the first game. The Orangemen tied it at 23 during a Miami sluggish streak, but couldn’t finish the job. The ‘Canes pulled off a 30-16 victory.
“We had to be focused from the beginning because even though we won on Friday against Notre Dame, we knew that this match was really important for us to get into the Big East tournament,” said Tipiana. “We had to take it seriously.”
The ‘Canes found their footing in the second game. Syracuse struggled with blocking, but took advantage of Miami’s numerous net violations. They were not enough to secure a victory for the Orangemen, however, who came up short once again, 21-30.
“I never felt worried,” said Welch. “We just needed to play our game of volleyball and play with a lot of emotion to win the match.”
Tipiana posted 11 kills in the first two games, totaling 25 attacks. Freshman Robin Lewullis had the high hitting percentage (.364).
The Hurricanes looked more like a light breeze than a fierce storm in the early stages of game three, but they quickly picked up speed after an ace from sophomore Biz Tyson that tied the game at nine. A pivotal kill by freshman Karla Johnson continued the ‘Canes’ hot streak. Miami had the last word with a 30-24 Orangemen crush.
“I feel great,” said Gamarra. “I’m so excited for [the fact that we’re going to the tournament]. We are a good team and we have showed that we can play against very good teams.”
Welch intends to start preparing for the big event early this week.
“If you go to the championships, you go there to win,” she said.
The Big East tournament will be held on November 23 in Pittsburgh.

You can reach Melissa Teich at

November 19, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Error
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: fsocket timed out

Hosmay Lopez, a meteorologist at the University of Miami Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmosp ...

UM alumna Shirley Hoffman Kilkelly was one of the few women engineers who worked on the Apollo 11 mo ...

College of Engineering alumnus Frank DeMattia was just 21 years old when he went to work at NASA on ...

Registered dietitian Stephanie Sanchez shares realistic, healthy ways to get you on track and headed ...

The overnight pre-orientation program – now in its 30th year – welcomes newly admitted first-year co ...

Sophomore tight end Brevin Jordan was among the 60 players named to the 2019 John Mackey Award Prese ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team added yet another elite accolade to her ...

Redshirt senior wide receiver K.J. Osborn was among six ACC players named to The Biletnikoff Award W ...

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has awarded the University of Miami a 2019 NCAA ...

Dane Dunlap, William Grattan-Smith and Franco Aubone were each selected as All-Academic Scholar Athl ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

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.