Blue Hose Edge Seahawks In Matinee
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
CLINTON, South Carolina - Junior Jennifer Mallard recorded 11 kills and freshman Sarah Fitzgerald added 10 to pace UNCW in a 3-2 setback (21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 19-25, 15-6) to Presbyterian Sunday at Templeton Arena.
In the second meeting all-time between the two schools, the Blue Hose improved to 6-10 overall while the Seahawks dipped to 6-11. UNCW returns to action Friday when they host William & Mary in a 7 p.m. Colonial Athletic Association contest at Hanover Hall.
"The team had a strong showing today in the first four sets against Presbyterian," said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "Unfortunately, we lost our edge in the fifth set. Presbyterian played fearless in the decisive set and hopefully our team can learn from that effort and mimic it in the future."
Fitzgerald and Mallard highlighted a balanced Seahawks offense that also saw freshman McKenzie Keightley add eight spikes and sophomore Christi Laite chip in seven. Junior Natalie LaHaie dished out a team-high 21 assists and senior Kelsey Bendig handed out 14 to guide a UNCW offense that combined for 45 kills and a .163 hitting percentage.
Sophomore Haley Collins recorded a team-best 14 digs while Fitzgerald and Mallard finished with nine apiece. Keightley highlighted UNCW's blocking efforts with a team-best four total blocks.
Junior Presley Mabrey tallied 17 kills to lead three Blue Hose players in double-figure kills as junior Allison Brown pitched 14 and sophomore Caroline Cann added 13. Freshman Ashtin Frank dished out a match-best 49 assists to quarterback a PC roster that teamed up to post 61 kills and a .196 hitting percentage.
Sophomore Mary Trimpe posted 20 digs to lead three players in double figures as Cann added 12 and Mabrey finished with 10 to give both players a double-double. Brown and freshmen Rachel Hall and Kelly Berryman all recorded seven total blocks to highlight a Blue Hose blocking effort that finished with 15 total blocks for the afternoon.
With the score tied at 17-all in the first set, a kill by Mallard sparked a 7-1 run that would give the Seahawks a 24-18 advantage. The Blue Hose would score three unanswered points to pull within three, but a kill by Laite would give UNCW a 25-21 victory.
The two sides continue to play close early in the second set, until a UNCW setting error with the score tied at 12-all would ignite a 13-5 PC run that would give the Blue Hose a 25-17 victory.
With the score tied at 19-all late in the third set, a kill by Cann put PC ahead for good as the Blue Hose scored five of the final seven points to claim a 25-21 victory in the third set.
The fourth set saw UNCW use a 10-2 spurt midway through the frame to break a 13-all deadlock and take a 23-15 lead on their way to a 25-19 victory.
Presbyterian regrouped for the decisive frame, using a kill by Brown early in the set to break a 2-all tie and set in motion a 13-4 run that would give the Blue Hose at 15-6 decision and the match.