Volleyball Victory

Sophomore outside hitter Lane Carico returns a shot against the Yellow Jackets. Alex Broadwell//File Photo

At least one UM sports team got revenge this past weekend.

The University of Miami volleyball team needed a total of nine sets to win three matches over the weekend during the 10th Annual Hurricane Invitational.

The Hurricanes (10-1) swept through contests against San Francisco, Bethune-Cookman and FIU, the team that eliminated Miami from the NCAA tournament in 2009.

“We’re ready for revenge,” junior middle blocker Christene Williamson said prior to the matchup. “Tonight we’re looking to kill [FIU] in… three [sets] max.”

Williamson was true to her word. The Canes beat the Panthers in relatively easy fashion, winning in straight sets by scores of 25-23, 25-17, 25-13.

Junior outside hitter Lane Carico took MVP honors for the tournament. The star upperclassman also recorded her 1,000th career kill against Bethune-Cookman, becoming the sixth Hurricane to ever reach the milestone.

Needless to say, Carico remained humble about her accomplishment.

“I’ve always been fortunate to play with a really great team of girls,” Carico said. “To be honest [reaching 1,000 kills] never crossed my mind. I didn’t think about it.”

Head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch, who has been in charge of the volleyball team since the program started in 2001, shed a little more light on the significance of reaching 1,000 kills.

“Reaching 1,000 kills is an incredible accomplishment, especially to have done it in your junior season,” Lantagne Welch said. “Lane has made such an impact and imprint in this program and we’re really proud of her accomplishments… she’ll flourish throughout the rest of her career.”

Right now, things are going good for the Hurricanes.

The team has won eight straight matches and has begun the 2010 season by taking 10 of its first 11 contests, no small feat considering the Canes feature two starting freshmen in outside hitter Alex Johnson and Libero Ryan Shaffer.

“We’re excited about where we are right now,” Lantagne Welch said. “There are things that we still need to fix on our end so that we can become a better team, but we’re definitely fired up about we’re at.”

Regardless of the fast start, Miami knows that the entire season will not consist of three-set sweeps.

“I think we have bigger competition coming up in our conference play,” Carico said.

The Hurricanes will get a chance to see just how good they really are starting on Saturday when in-state rival Florida State will come to Coral Gables to kick off ACC play. The match will take place at 7 p.m. at the Knight Sports Complex and can be heard live on WVUM.

Adam Berger may contacted at aberger@themiamihurricane.com.