VOLLEYBALL: Squad prepares for two ACC road games

The Miami volleyball squad (8-8) will hit the road this week on a quest to get back on a winning streak as they take on Boston College (8-9) and Maryland (10-6). All three teams are tied with a 2-5 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Since the ‘Canes beat Virginia and Virginia Tech on the road, they have been in a drought, dropping four straight tough home games. In that losing streak, the Hurricanes played four of the top five ACC teams.

Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch believes her team will be more focused on the road this week compared to the previous weeks.

“It will be a challenge,” Lantagne Welch said. “But I think when you get on the road away from everything, your focuses can be cleaner, and that is what I am expecting.”

Despite the losses, sophomore Genny Mayhew has racked up 52 kills in the past four games. Freshman Katie Gallagher has tallied up 129 assists and sophomore Cassie Loessberg has led the team with 52 digs. However, the ‘Canes haven’t translated those stellar statistics into victories.

“The biggest thing we need to worry about right now is ourselves. We have to play confident and steady volleyball,” Lantagne Welch said. “We need more people wanting the ball and we need to do better in every aspect.”

Last week the Eagles were defeated on their own home court. Audrey Eichler and Brittany Pierpont will anchor the offense for Boston College. The Hurricanes’ defense is expected to have multiple players in double digits in digs.

“Boston College is a tough team. They play tenacious defense and they will get after everything,” Lantagne Welch said. “They will give us everything they have.”

Last year, Miami swept Maryland at home but the Terrapins answered back by sweeping the ‘Canes in College Park, Md.

“Maryland is always known for being an excellent blocking team. They have a lot of good players back from a year ago,” Lantagne Welch said.

Lantagne Welch is familiar with Maryland more than one way. She is a former Terrapin and is ranked first at Maryland in all-time career digs.

Lantagne Welch plans to have her team mentally prepared.
“We just need to get tougher,” Lantagne Welch said. “We have to get ready to go up [there] and play our best ball.”

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at l.ledoux@umiami.edu.