Volleyball wins Northern Colorado Tournament

The University of Miami volleyball team won all three of its matches this weekend, beating Eastern Michigan, North Dakota State and Northern Colorado respectively, taking the Hampton Inn & Suites Northern Colorado Tournament title.

The sweep was a nice rebound for the Hurricanes who were coming off of a tough loss to USF the previous Saturday at the Knight Sports Complex

“It was a good weekend for us,” head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “We definitely were tested and we’re a better team now because of it.”

The first and final matches of the weekend went quite smoothly for Miami as they swept both Eastern Michigan and Northern Colorado by scores of 3-0. The middle match against North Dakota State, however, was a thriller.

The Hurricanes took the first set against the Bison 25-18, but lost the next two by scores of 22-25 and 20-25 respectively. Entering the fourth frame down 2-1 Miami jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back. They won the set by a score of 25-10 and then clinched the match, winning 15-6 in the fifth frame.

Senior outside-hitter Genny Mayhew noted the fourth frame as being the turning point in the victory.

“I think it was really telling in the fourth [set] where we just started playing our game,” said Mayhew, who collected nine kills and 16 digs in the win, narrowly missing a double-double.  “You can see the difference in the scores, suddenly it was a completely different game and we shut them down.”

The Hurricanes went on to win the Hampton Inn & Suites Northern Colorado Tournament by beating Northern Colorado in the nightcap, as sophomore outside-hitter Lane Carico was selected as the Tournament MVP.

Carico joined teammates sophomore Ali Becker and senior Cassie Loessberg on the All-Tournament team. Loessberg in particular was crucial to the Hurricanes success over the weekend. The libero collected 39 digs in the match against North Dakota State and set a University of Miami record by recording 30 digs in a three-set match.

“Cassie had an outstanding weekend of play,” Lantagne Welch said. “She was really our rock out there on the court.”

The Hurricanes look to continue its solid play this week as they travel across town to face in-city rivals FIU. The match will take place Thursday night and is the first game of the Miami/FIU tournament.

Following that match the Hurricanes return to Coral Gables to take on Middle Tennessee State Friday night and Albany NY Saturday night. Both games will take place at the Knight Sports Complex starting at 6 PM and can be heard live on 90.5 WVUM and WVUM.org. Look for Mayhew and the Hurricanes to come out strong this weekend.

“Hopefully we come away with three wins,” Mayhew said. “That would be great for us and that’s what we want.”

Adam Berger may be contacted at aberger@themiamihurricane.com