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Published 11/21/2012
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Lantagne Welch Named ACC Coach of the Year

GREENSBORO, N.C. - University of Miami head volleyball coach Nicole Lantagne Welch has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday. It is the second time the veteran mentor has earned the honor (2008).

"As a team and a program we knew that we were a little bit underestimated this season," Lantagne Welch said. "We had a lot to prove and were not picked high since we lost a lot of people. However, what a lot of people didn't know was how ready we were to step out to the court and compete. It is a credit to all of the players in our program and the coaches on the staff to how hard we have worked this year to put ourselves in this position."

In her 12th season at the helm of the program she created, Lantagne Welch defied expectations this season to put the Hurricanes in contention to win their first ACC title. The team lost four starters from last year's roster, including three All-ACC selections. Miami was picked to finish in fifth place in a preseason poll of the league coaches.

"I am very happy for Nicole and the program," interim Director of Athletics Blake James said. "This award is a tremendous recognition of the job that she has done not only this year, but during her time at the University of Miami."

With All-ACC selections also announced, Lantagne Welch put six players on the team, tying an ACC record. Miami is in the top four in the conference in all statistical categories, including leading in opponent hitting percentage (.148), assists (13.31/set), kills (14.33/set) and blocks (2.92/set).

UM has been ranked as high as No. 23 this season and has won its most league matches (17) since joining the conference in 2004. Five different Hurricanes have earned ACC Player of the Week honors on six occasions this season.

Lantagne Welch is the only head coach of the program since it re-started for the 2001 season. One win away from its first ACC title, Miami will also be looking to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. She is 243-188 (.673) overall and 110-71 (.607) in ACC play in 12 seasons after earning All-ACC status as a setter during her playing days at Maryland.

Miami (25-4, 17-2) is currently No. 23 in the ACVA Coaches Poll and will travel to face Florida State for the ACC title Friday at 1 p.m. The match will be broadcast on ESPN3.

For all the latest information on Miami Hurricanes volleyball, follow the official Twitter feed, @CanesVB, or "Like Us" on Facebook at

2012 ACC Volleyball Individuals Awards
Player of the Year Ashley Neff Jr. MB Florida State
Defensive Player of the Year Ali McCurdy Jr. L Duke
Freshman of the Year Paige Neuenfeldt Fr. MB North Carolina
Coach of the Year Nicole Lantagne Welch     Miami

2012 All-ACC Team
Sandra Adeleye % Sr. MH Clemson
Ali McCurdy # Jr. L Duke
Christiana Gray # Sr. MB Duke
Ashley Neff @ Jr. MB Florida State
Fatma Yildirim Sr. OH Florida State
Sareea Freeman Sr. MB Florida State
Monique Mead % Sr. RS Georgia Tech
Ashleigh Crutcher So. OH Maryland
Alex Johnson Jr. RS Miami
Alexis Mourning So. MB Miami
Emani Sims So. MB Miami
Nrithya Sundararaman Sr. S Miami
Ryan Shaffer Jr. L Miami
Taylor Hollins Jr. OH Miami
Megan Cyr Sr. S NC State
Chaniel Nelson @ So. RS North Carolina
Emily McGee # Sr. OH North Carolina
Cara Baarendsee # Sr. OPP Virginia Tech

! - Two-Time selection
# - Three-Time selection
% - Four-time selection

2012 All-ACC FreshmanTeam
Katty Workman Fr. OH Boston College
Elizabeth Campbell Fr. RS Duke
Emily Sklar Fr. OH Duke
Chanell Clark-Bibbs Fr. MB Georgia Tech
Paige Neuenfeldt Fr. MB North Carolina
Natalie Bausback Fr. OH Virginia