July 08, 2011 — Coral Gables — Three regular-season tournaments, matches against seven opponents who advanced to postseason competition last year, and an Atlantic Coast Conference finale against in-state rival Florida State are just some of the highlights of the University of Miami women’s volleyball team’s 2011 schedule.
The squad, which finished 23-9 (13-7 in the ACC) last year, enters its 11th season under head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch, who has guided the Hurricanes to two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Miami will begin the year at the Tiger Classic, facing Jacksonville State in a season-opening match on Friday, August 26. The following day, the ’Canes will face Louisiana-Lafayette and tournament host Louisiana State University. Last season the LSU Tigers competed in the NCAA Tournament, falling to Tulsa in the opening round.
The following weekend UM travels across the country to Malibu, California, to participate in the Pepperdine Asics Classic, taking on UC Santa Barbara, Georgia, and host Pepperdine during a two-day tournament that runs September 2-3.
UM concludes its regular-season tournament schedule at home with the Hurricane Invitational, a tournament the team has won two of the last three times, including last season with wins over San Francisco, Bethune-Cookman, and Florida International. The 2011 Hurricane Invitational will feature teams from Florida A&M, Auburn, and Oklahoma. Miami opens with Florida A&M (September 8th) and then faces Auburn (September 9) and Oklahoma (September 10). Both Auburn and Oklahoma advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament, with the Sooners going to the Sweet 16 and Auburn advancing to the second round.
The Hurricanes open ACC competition on the road against in-state rival Florida State (September 14), followed by trips to Virginia Tech (September 23) and Virginia (September 25). Five of the squad’s first seven ACC matches will be on the road.
Wake Forest (September 30) and Duke (October 2) visit Coral Gables a week later. Miami hits the road the following weekend with a two-match swing along venerable Tobacco Road, as the ’Canes face North Carolina State (October 7) and North Carolina (October 9).
Clemson and Georgia Tech travel to Coral Gables on October 14 and 16, respectively. UM will face Boston College (October 21) and Maryland (October 23) a week later.
In what will be their longest home stand, the Hurricanes will welcome Virginia (October 28), Virginia Tech (October 30), North Carolina (November 4), and North Carolina State (November 6).
A four-match road trek ensues, with Miami traveling to Duke (November 10), Wake Forest (November 12), Georgia Tech (November 18) and Clemson (November 19). The ’Canes conclude the regular season at home against FSU on Saturday, November 26.
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