Canes volleyball remains undefeated at home

The University of Miami women’s volleyball team won both of its matches at home this weekend against ACC foes Boston College and Maryland.

Miami (17-2, 5-2) tied its best start under eighth-year head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch. In 2002, the Canes held the same record through 19 games.

On Friday night, Miami got off to a strong start with a 3-0 sweep of the Boston College Eagles (6-13, 0-7). The Hurricanes posted a season-high .416 hitting percentage and set a school record with only three committed errors by feasting on a young Eagle team whose starting lineup was entirely made up of freshmen and sophomores.

The last time a Hurricane volleyball team reached a .400 hitting mark was Sept. 18, 2004, when it set the school record (.431) in a 3-0 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

After winning the first set, 25-13, the Canes rolled off 11 consecutive points to start the second set behind serves from junior outside hitter Genny Mayhew. However, nine of those points for UM came from set and attack errors charged to the Eagles.

Freshman outside hitter Lane Carico finished just short of a double-double with nine kills and 11 digs. Senior middle blocker Angelica Ellis set the tone early as she recorded four kills in the first set and ended the match with eight.

“We wanted to get ahead early and set the tone,” Ellis said. “We just have been working on being more consistent and it is paying off.”

Friday night’s momentum carried into Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 victory against Maryland (5-14, 1-6), Lantagne Welch’s alma mater. She was a setter for the Terrapins and remains the program’s all-time leader in digs. Maryland lost its sixth straight match.

After dropping the first set 24-26, the Canes took the next three 34-32, 25-22 and 25-23, as each was decided by three points or less.

Although UM ran out to a quick 4-0 advantage in the first set, a service and attack error late against the Canes late in the set gave the Terrapins the opening victory.

It marked the seventh time this year that the Hurricanes dropped the first set and came back to win the match.

There were 33 ties and 12 lead changes. The orange and green continued its streak of putting away opponents by improving its records to 17-2 in third sets and 7-1 in fourth sets.

Four different Canes tallied double digits in kills: senior rightside Ashley Woods, Mayhew, Ellis and Carico. Carico finished with 17 kills and Mayhew earned 10 as both earned double-doubles.

The Hurricanes remain perfect at the James L. Knight Sports Complex with a 7-0 record.

“We have so much support,” Ellis said with a smile. “Last year we did not have this much support. It is exciting and it really helps the team and gets us ready to play.”

Miami concludes its five-game home stand next weekend as it faces N.C. State Friday at 7 p.m. and North Carolina Saturday at 6 p.m.