Volleyball splits weekend matches

The University of Miami volleyball team salvaged their weekend schedule by dominating North Carolina State on Sunday, sweeping the Wolfpack in straight sets, 3-0.

The Hurricanes can commiserate with such a defeat, as they too were on the losing end of a 3-0 score Friday night against North Carolina. Fortunately for the Hurricanes, coming in to Sunday’s contest N.C. State was dead last in the ACC with an 0-9 record, and Miami was able to cruise for an easy win.

“Winning always feels really good,” said head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch following the victory. “It’s good for everybody, but we still need to have more of a competitive edge and that’s something that we’re working on.”

Throughout the year Miami has relied heavily on sophomore outside hitter Lane Carico for point production, as week after week it seems she leads the team in kills. On Sunday however it was a different story, as Carico who had 10 kills, was not the only Hurricane to put up major offensive production.

The Hurricanes shared the wealth with respect to kill shots. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Christine Williamson led all Hurricanes with 14 kills, and redshirt junior middle blocker Lici McGee joined in on the fun with 13.

“We need to have other people step up, Lane’s been very consistent for us but teams are going to key in on her,” Lantagne Welch said. “For [Christine] and Lici to take a lot of the load…to let everybody know that they were there and they were ready to put the ball away is a great thing, and that’s only going to progress us as a team.”

The victory marked the unofficial end to the beginning stretch of ACC play for the Hurricanes. Miami’s nine remaining contests will come against conference foes that they have already faced this season.

The second stretch of conference play allows the Hurricanes to be better prepared for their upcoming matches based on familiarity. It also allows Miami to exact some revenge for early season defeats, starting this week as they travel to Virginia Tech, who the Hurricanes lost to at home in heartbreaking fashion, 3-2, on Sept. 27.

“We were really close with them the first time and hopefully we can come out with the victory this time,” Lici McGee said.

Count on coach Lantange Welch to remind her team of the defeat heading into a hostile environment in Blacksburg.

“Virginia Tech always gives us a great match, we have a lot of five [setters] with them. They’ll be tough they play very well at home and we’re going to be ready for that challenge.

Adam Berger may be contacted at aberger@themiamihurricane.com.