No. 23 VB Ready for NCAA Tournament Opener
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - After earning an at-large bid for the fifth time in program history, the 23rd-ranked University of Miami volleyball team will take on College of Charleston in its opening round match of the NCAA Tournament Friday at 5 p.m. inside the O'Connell Center. It will be the first of two contests in the Gainesville bracket at University of Florida.
Joining the Hurricanes in the bracket will be host and No. 14 overall seed Florida and Tulsa, champions of the Southeastern Conference and Conference USA, respectively. The two first round winners will face off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the right to advance to the Austin Regional.
"We look forward to preparing to play College of Charleston, knowing historically that [CofC head coach Jason Kepner] has done a great job with that program," ACC Coach of the Year Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "Anyone can beat anyone in the NCAA Tournament, so we will have to play at our best in order to win this weekend."
Miami (25-5, 17-3 ACC) finished second in the ACC, winning its most league matches since joining the conference in 2004. Boasting six All-ACC selections, the Canes led the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.167), assists (13.32/set), kills (14.35/set) and blocks (2.91/set). UM won 15 of its last 17 to end the regular season.
Last season in the NCAA Tournament, the Hurricanes defeated Northern Illinois, 3-1, to advance to the second round. The program is 3-4 in four appearances, with the best run coming in 2002 when the team advanced to the Sweet 16. UM has played one match in program history at UF, in the 2009 NCAA Tournament against FIU.
College of Charleston (26-7, 14-2 SoCon) earned the automatic bid out of the Southern Conference by defeating Furman in five sets in the championship match. The Cougars will be making their seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament, with the last appearance coming in 2009. Miami leads the all-time series against CofC, 3-0, but the two teams have not met on the volleyball court since 1979.
GatorVision will provide a free online stream of the match, with live stats also available through links at HurricaneSports.com.For all the latest information on Miami Hurricanes volleyball, follow the official Twitter feed, @CanesVB, or "Like Us" on Facebook at facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes. In addition, the program is on Instagram (CanesVB).