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Published 09/07/2012
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Canes Knock Off No. 6 Florida State

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami volleyball team knocked off No. 6 Florida State, 3-1, in front of a national television audience and a record crowd at the Knight Sports Complex on Friday. It was the first-ever win over a top-10 team for the program.

After dropping the first set 25-18, the Canes won the next three sets by the scores of 25-17, 25-22 and 25-18.

"We played at a very high level and served and passed very well tonight," 12th-year head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "Our offense was in great rhythm. We used a lot of our quickness and speed to beat them."

Junior Alex Johnson, a Tallahassee native, recorded a match-high 16 kills for Miami (7-1, 1-0 ACC) along with 16 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Sophomore Alexis Mourning contributed 14 kills, as UM put together a hitting percentage of .228 compared to FSU's .155.

Defensively, junior libero Ryan Shaffer had a team-high 18 digs, while sophomore middle blocker Emani Sims collected six total blocks.

Senior setter Nryitha Sundararaman put up 50 assists to pace the offense, reaching that total for the second time this season.

The sixth-ranked Seminoles (6-1, 0-1 ACC) came out of the gates strong to take the opening set, 25-18, with a .306 hitting percentage. There were five ties and two lead changes in the set.

In the second, the teams split the first 12 points before UM won the next three to gain momentum. FSU brought the score to 11-10, but the Canes went on an 8-1 run to seize control. The lead grew to as much as 10, with Mourning spiking a kill to clinch the set.

Miami broke an 8-8 tie in the third and never lost the lead again to go up 2-1 in the match. Johnson registered five kills in the set.

With victory in sight, the Hurricanes once again broke through early and went up by as many as 21-13. Florida State called timeout, but UM closed it out on a kill from Mourning that sent the Knight Sports Complex into a frenzy. Members of the record crowd of 1,129 stormed the court to congratulate the Hurricanes on the historic win over a top-10 opponent.

The previous-best win over a ranked opponent came in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against No. 15 Wisconsin in 2002.

"Our program has been growing and is now known across the nation," Lantagne Welch continued. "A win like this is going to get everyone's attention that we are doing great things down here in Coral Gables."

The Canes will next step out of the ACC to compete at the two-day Louisville Tournament at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., starting on Friday, Sept. 14. The event will include matches against UNLV, Middle Tennessee State and Louisville.

It was the first time the ESPN family of networks has ever broadcasted a UM volleyball match in Coral Gables ... Kelsie Groot made her first career start ... Taylor Hollins (10 kills, 10 digs) recorded a double-double for the seventh time in eight matches ... Miami had 59 kills compared to 49 by FSU ... the Canes won at home for the 10th time in a row and have taken 21 of the last 22 at the Knight Complex ... UM has won three of its last four versus FSU.

The ticket office is pleased to offer season tickets for both volleyball and soccer for just $50. Season tickets to the home volleyball schedule at the Knight Complex can be purchased for $35, with single match tickets available for as low as $3. Call 1-800-GO-CANES to order your tickets today.

For all the latest information on the Miami Hurricanes, follow the official Twitter feed, @HurricaneSports, or "Like Us" on Facebook at Follow @CanesVB on Twitter for specific news on UM volleyball.