Volleyball bond grows over rough season

The Miami Hurricanes’ volleyball team finished the season with a 14-17 record and struggled in the ACC, finishing with an 8-14 conference record.

The Canes ended the season with two more wins than last year and swept their final two matches.

Regardless of what the record may indicate, the team feels they had a great experience with each other this season.

“We all enjoyed playing together,” sophomore Genny Mayhew said. “We also enjoyed being around each other. We showed a lot of growth this season. We managed to get some really impressive wins.”

Over the season the Canes grew a strong bond with one another.

“It was a group that really thrives on being together and they worked well as a team,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “They got along great. It is a really fun group to be around.”

Most of the players still found enjoyment from the season despite the losses.

“We all enjoyed the road trips the most,” senior Ciara Michel said. “We get pretty crazy on the buses and we were always singing and playing games. We all enjoy each other’s company a lot.”

Michel capped off her stellar career at UM with another strong season. She moved into fifth all time at the school with 961 kills. With Miami’s blocks record already in hand, Michel padded her stats with 140 total blocks this year. She finished her career with 573 total blocks, two hundred more total blocks than second place.

Michel leaves Miami with 12 school records.

With seniors Michel and Michelle Bruin leaving, Miami found new players to build around this season.

The Canes are a young team with five freshmen and four sophomores.

“We had a few players that came into their own,” Lantagne Welch said. “We had Genny Mayhew on the outside and became a dominant outside hitter. We had Katie Gallagher as a freshman who took over the reins as our setter. Every player has their key improvements and that was good for us.”

Mayhew led the team with 428 kills, sixth highest in a single season. She also broke a school record with 25 kills in a three-game set midway through the season.

In her first collegiate season, Gallagher finished with 1,234 assists, which is the second most ever by a Cane in a season. She is already in third place in career assists. Gallagher also tallied 67 serving aces, the most ever in school history, breaking the record by nearly 20 aces. In her second match of the season, Gallagher set a school record with 11 aces in a match.

In addition to Gallagher, sophomore Cassie Loessberg ended the year with a school record of 552 digs in a season. Loessberg set a school record with 49 digs in one match. In two seasons, Loessberg is fifth all time in career digs.

“We have a lot of experience coming back next year and that’s exciting,” Lantagne Welch said.

The Canes have seen plenty of ups and downs this year, but they feel the trials and tribulations of this year will have a benefit down the road.

“We did struggle a lot but I do think it’s going to pay off next year because we have more experience,” Mayhew said. “Parts of this season we look pretty good.”

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