Squad set up for success

The University of Miami volleyball team is on a roll at just the right time.

The Canes played like a squad determined to return to the NCAA tournament over the weekend, beating both Boston College and Maryland.

“We have a really, really good shot at making it to the tournament,” said junior setter Katie Gallagher, who had 41 assists on Friday against Boston College and 32 assists on Sunday against Maryland. Both were match highs.

The Hurricanes arguably played their best volleyball of the season over the weekend, competing with an intensity and efficiency that the Eagles and the Terps simply couldn’t handle.

Boston College looked overwhelmed and outmatched on the court Friday night. The Canes’ offense was dominant and pounded the Eagles.

The Canes won easily 25-13, 25-14 and 25-16.

The case wasn’t very different on Sunday against Maryland either. Miami cruised by the Terps in straight sets, 25-9, 25-19 and 25-18.

Miami, now 22-8 on the year with a 12-7 record in-conference, has won four matches in a row.

It was only a little over two weeks ago that coach Nicole Lantagne Welch’s squad found itself in the bad habit of splitting weekend series against ACC opponents but the Canes turned things around in a timely fashion. With the two wins, they have all but locked up a slot to the NCAA tournament.

The two victories were also the final home matches for the two veteran players on the Hurricane roster, senior middle blockers Ariell Cooke and Lici McGee.

“It’s always special to talk about your seniors,” Lantagne Welch said. “The [best] thing in a coach’s career is to see the kids mature from their first year to the end.”

Both seniors certainly hope that their season lasts longer than their final regular season match.

Miami still has to play Florida State this upcoming Friday, and then they will wait for the NCAA tournament selection show on ESPNews, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday according to NCAA.org.

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