Seahawks Split Matches At Beach Bash
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Led by a match-high 16 kills from Junior Christi Laite, UNCW rolled to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-14) sweep of Delaware State in collegiate volleyball action in the Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash Saturday at Hanover Hall.
The Seahawks suffered their first loss of the season in the nightcap, falling to tournament champion LIU Brooklyn, 3-1 (25-17, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20).
UNCW finished the season-openning tournament with a 2-1 record. UNCW concludes its season-opening homestand Tuesday when it entertains state rival Campbell in a 7 p.m. match.
Against Delaware State, Laite posted a match-high 16 kills and committed just three errors in 21 total attempts for a .619 hitting percentage to highlight a UNCW attack that finished the match with 47 kills and an impressive .372 attack percentage. Senior Jennifer Mallard notched with nine spikes and sophomore Sarah Fitzgerald tallied seven. Freshman Victoria Phillips handed out a match-best 23 assists in her collegiate debut while senior Natalie LaHaie chipped in 12. Defensively, junior Haley Collins posted a match-high 15 digs while Phillips added seven.
Junior Jessica Russell-Croucher and sophomore Edarkis Branch tallied five kills apiece for Delaware State, who was limited to just 14 spikes and a .028 hitting percentage for the contest.
UNCW never trailed in the first set, jumping out to an early 10-3 lead before closing the frame on a 9-2 run to post a 25-12 triumph. UNCW finished the opening set with 16 kills and just two attack errors in 26 total attempts as it combined for a .538 attack clip in the frame.
In the second set, UNCW held an 11-10 lead midway through the frame when a Delaware State service error sparked the Seahawks to an 7-3 spurt and an 18-13 advantage. The Hornets responded with three straight points to pull within two, 18-16, but a Delaware State service error, one of four in the frame, sparked the Seahawks to score six of the next nine points and take a 25-19 decision in the second frame.
The third set saw UNCW score 14 of the first 15 points of the frame to build a commanding 14-1 cushion. The Seahawks maintained a double-figure league the rest of the frame, using a kill from Laite to close out the match with a 25-14 victory. Laite was a perfect 8-for-8 on the attack in the third set to guide a UNCW lineup that posted 18 kills with just three attack errors in 27 total attempts for a .556 attack percentage in the frame.
Against the Blackbirds, sophomore Morgan Kline tallied a match-high 16 kills to lead a UNCW lineup that finished with 35 errors and a .014 attack percentage for the match. Freshman Lindsay Hartmann posted a team-high 12 digs and junior Haley Collins notched 11 while Keightley and freshman Meredith Peacock tallied four blocks assists each to highlight the Seahawks defensive efforts.
Sophomore Annika Foit and freshman Tamara Ignjic posted 12 kills apiece and Mirjana Rajic added nine to pace a balanced LIU Brooklyn lineup that saw five players notched five or more kills in the contest. Sophomore setter Vera Djuric guided the Blackbirds attack to a .163 hitting percentage for the match as she finished with a match-best 39 assists. Freshman Ariana Vinas Joy led three LIU Brooklyn players in double-figure digs with 15 as Foit and Ingjic tallied 12 apiece to both record double-doubles. Senior Ashley Rice posted a match-best eight total blocks and fellow senior Jessica Rice tallied five to guide a Blackbirds frontline that finished with 12.5 team blocks on the evening.
LIU Brooklyn never trailed in the first set, opening the match with a 7-2 run on its way to building an 18-10 cushion. The Seahawks fought back, tallying five of the next six points to pull within four, 19-15. That would be as close at the Seahawks would get, however, as the Blackbirds scored six of the last eight points of the frame to take a 25-17 victory.
Trailing 11-9 midway through the second set, a setting error by the Blackbirds sparked the Seahawks to an 8-2 run and a 17-13 advantage. LIU would pull within one, 17-16, moments later on a kill by Rajic, but the Seahawks would tally eight of the final 11 points of the frame to post a 25-19 victory.
In a close third set that featured four ties and three lead changes and saw neither team take a lead of more than five, LIU Brooklyn scored five of six points to break an 11-all tie and build a 16-12 advantage. The Seahawks trimmed the deficit to three, 20-17, but the Blackbirds closed out the frame with five unanswered points to record a 25-20 triumph.
The fourth set saw LIU Brooklyn take control early, opening the frame with five straight points before using a 10-4 spurt later in the frame to stretch a 13-10 edge into a comfortable 23-14 cushion. UNCW would make one last push, recording six of the next seven points to make it a 24-20 contest, but a Seahawks service error gave LIU Brooklyn a 25-20 victory and the match.
Courtyard Marriott Beach Bash All-Tournament Team
Vera Djuric (LIU Brooklyn)
Christobel Fakaosi (Delaware State)
Lindsay Hartmann (UNCW)
Courtney Johnk (High Point)
McKenzie Keightley (UNCW)
Ashley Rice (LIU Brooklyn)
MVP - Annika Foit (LIU Brooklyn)