Miami continues to grind out ACC matches

The ACC volleyball schedule has proven to be challenging and unpredictable so far this season. Over the weekend the Hurricanes experienced this fact first hand.

Miami split two matches against conference opponents, losing a tough five-set contest to Duke on Friday night, then rebounding to win a relatively easy three-set sweep of wake forest on Sunday afternoon.

The erratic competition of the ACC hasn’t surprised head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch in the slightest.

“The teams are all very, very similar and you have to play well to win,” Lantagne Welch said.

“When you’re playing in a really tough conference, tough match after match, you don’t get any mental breaks.”

Miami is now 6-5 in ACC play and faces arguably the toughest stretch of the 2010 season. The Hurricanes will play four consecutive ACC matches all away from the comfortable confines of the Knight Sports Complex.

Needless to say, it doesn’t seem as if the Miami players are that concerned about it.

“We like playing on the road because we get to take people down in their house so we’re really excited,” redshirt junior outside hitter Christine Williamson said.

Miami is 2-2 on the road when playing conference opponents. They recently beat Maryland and Boston College away from home, but also got blown out by U.N.C. and NC State earlier in the season during a tough road trip to North Carolina.

It will be interesting to see which Hurricane team shows up in the upcoming weeks.

“I think we’ve done well. We have a lot of things to improve on. We have an old team, and a young team so I think the chemistry is really getting their now,” redshirt junior Katie Gallagher said.

Gallagher’s description of her team really is appropriate, and now that Miami is just about passed the halfway point of the season it will be crucial for the squad to finish up strong, and chemistry is a big part of that.

The midway mark also means that this upcoming week will be a time of self-evaluation for Lantagne Welch and her coaching staff.

“I think this week we’ll kind of sit down and actually reflect…we’ve done some really great things, we have some ones that we wish we could have back,” Lantagne Welch said.

“You want to make sure that you’re putting it out there every night so you don’t have those ones that you wish you had again. I think if we can approach that a little bit better in the second half we can see even more success.”

Adam Berger may be contacted at