Volleyball Opens with Orange and Green Challenge
Aug. 23, 2007
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -The University of Miami volleyball team opens the 2007 season this weekend when it hosts Hofstra, Jacksonville and Butler in the Orange and Green Challenge at the Knight Sports Complex, Aug. 24-25.
Jacksonville and Butler are set to battle in the tournament opener at 4 p.m. on Friday before the Hurricanes take on Hofstra at 7 p.m. Play resumes Saturday morning with Hofstra facing Butler at 10 a.m. in the first of four matches on the day. The day's second match features UM against Jacksonville at 12:30 p.m. before Jacksonville turns around to play Hofstra at 5 p.m. Miami and Butler will then square off in the sixth and final match of the round-robin style tournament later that night at 7:30 p.m.
"It is a great opportunity for us to host our own tournament and have teams come in and see the university and the city of Miami," head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "We also get to enjoy being at home in front of our fans and not having to deal the rigors of traveling. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage this weekend."
The Hurricanes head into the season led by the senior duo of Preseason All-ACC middle blocker Ciara Michel and libero/defensive specialist Michelle Bruin. Michel and fellow co-captain Ashley Woods return as the top two offensive threats for UM, having combined for 561 kills in 2006. In addition to her ability to score, Michel is also a key contributor on the defensive end, having set a single-season Miami record with 168 total blocks last year.
"We've worked very hard this preseason and we can't wait for the season to get started," Lantagne Welch said. "We're a young, hungry team ready to get out on the court and show everybody what we are all about. It will be fun to finally get out there and compete."
Returning nine letterwinners and welcoming five newcomers, the Canes are coming off a 12-19 campaign in 2006, just the first losing season in Lantagne Welch's six-year tenure at Miami.
The Orange and Green Challenge marks the start of the season for all four teams in the field.
The Hurricanes match Friday night against Hofstra can be heard live on the University's student network WVUM 90.5 FM. Fans can follow every match of the tournament via GameTracker at www.hurricanesports.com. To access GameTracker, visit the Miami volleyball page and click on the 2007 Orange and Green Challenge link. For tickets, contact the Hurricane ticket office at 1-800-GO-CANES.
Orange and Green Challenge Schedule
Saturday, Aug. 25