Lane Carico becomes all-time kills leader

Lane Carico, senior, spikes the ball over the net during the match against Duke. The girls won the match 3-0. Zach Beeker//The Miami Hurricane

For all of Lane Carico’s accomplishments as a star outside hitter for the University of Miami volleyball team, none were bigger than her fourth kill of a match against Duke on Monday at the Knight Sports Complex.

It marked the 1,495 kill of Carico’s career, passing former Cane Karla Johnson for sole possession of first place in that offensive category.

Nevertheless, the senior remained characteristically humble when talking about the impressive feat.

“It’s great to be on a good team and to have a great setter [in senior Katie Gallagher],” said Carico, who finished with 14 kills in the match and 33 for the weekend.

Head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch was slightly more willing to acknowledge the significance of her fourth-year starter’s feat.

“I’m very proud of her and all of her accomplishments,” Lantagne Welch said. “It’s only deserving that she be on the top of that leader board.”

Lantagne Welch finds it especially notable that Carico was not highly recruited coming out of Mira Costa High School.

“I think a lot of programs overlooked her because they weren’t sure if she could handle the attacking at this level, and she’s proved all of them absolutely wrong,” she said.

In addition to Carico’s record-breaking moment, the 20th-ranked Hurricanes came away with victories against ACC foes Wake Forest and Duke over the memorable weekend.

On Friday night, Miami beat the Demon Deacons in straight sets, 3-0, but not before they pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind victory in set three.

The Hurricanes found themselves down 17-10 in the third frame, and it looked all but certain that Miami and Wake Forest were headed to a fourth set. But then Carico converted a kill shot to make it 17-11, freshman libero Ryan Shaffer stepped to the baseline of the court to serve, and eight points later the Canes had a 19-17 lead and the match was just about over.

Miami went on to win the deciding set by a score of 25-23.

“Ryan really gave us a nice lift there,” Lantagne Welch said, referring to Shaffer’s eight straight service points that included two aces. “She was serving aggressively, putting [Wake Forest] a little bit on the defensive.”

In the final match of the weekend the Canes took on the Duke Blue Devils, a team that made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2010.

Despite losing their last three matches to the Blue Devils, the Canes put Duke away in short order, again winning in straight sets by scores of 25-22, 26-24 and 25-22. The Canes have now won 12 straight sets, going back to the squad’s 3-0 victory against Virginia Tech on Sept. 23.

“We felt prepared coming in,” Lantagne Welch said. “We have great respect for them and their program, but we beat them 3-0 so it [shows] a lot about where we’re headed.”

Miami will now hit the road for a pair of matches in North Carolina. The Canes will take on N.C. State in Raleigh on Friday night and North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Sunday afternoon. Miami returns home the following weekend to take on Clemson and Georgia Tech.