Laite Powers Seahawks Past Tribe
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - Junior Christi Laite recorded a match-high 15 kills and a .542 hitting percentage to lead UNCW to a 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22) victory over William & Mary in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Saturday at Kaplan Arena.
The Seahawks improved to 8-14 overall and 1-6 in CAA play as they avenged a 3-0 loss to the Tribe at Hanover Hall in September. William & Mary moved to 11-10 and 3-4 with the setback.
"I could not be more proud of our team for their drive and fight to pull out this win tonight," said Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "They stuck to our game plan, made quick defensive adjustments, and played steady under pressure. Our team knows we are a competitive team, but it feels great to finish the match on top."
Laite highlighted a potent Seahawks attack that combined for 59 kills and a .242 hitting percentage as sophomores McKenzie Keightley and Morgan Kline notched 10 kills apiece while senior Jennifer Mallard added eight and junior Courtney Porter pitched in seven.
Freshman setter Victoria Phillips notched 28 assists and added 12 digs for her third double-double of the season while Kline added 10 bumps for her team-leading seventh double-double. Junior Haley Collins posted a match-best 20 digs.
Freshman Dessi Koleva notched 13 kills and a .487 hitting percentage while sophomore Paulette Grande Pre added 10 spikes for William & Mary. Senior Molly Krull dished out 25 assists and sophomore Carolina Rivas added 19 to pace the Tribe lineup to 50 kills and .171 hitting percentage for the match. Freshman Olivia Jebb tallied 12 digs to lead four Tribe players in double figures as sophomore Manon Murray recorded 11 while Koleva and sophomore Devin Andrews-Lyssy tallied 10 bumps each.
Holding a 15-14 lead midway through the first set, a spike by Keightley sparked the Seahawks to a 10-3 spurt and a 25-17 opening-frame victory.
In a tight second set that featured a total of seven ties and three lead changes, a kill by freshman Liz Brown broke a 17-all deadlock and sent the Tribe on a 6-3 spurt that would give them a 25-22 triumph and even the match at one set apiece.
Leading 18-17 late in the third set, a kill by Kline ignited the Seahawks to score six of the next seven points and force set point, 24-19. The Tribe would respond with three unanswered points to pull within two, but a service error gave the Seahawks a 25-22 win.
The fourth set saw the Seahawks race out to an early 5-0 led, only to see the Tribe battle back and even the score at 5-all. The two sides would battle back and forth until, with the score deadlocked at 21-all, a kill by Laite led UNCW to score four of the final five points of the frame for a 25-21 victory and the match.
"Offensively, we saw great production from multiple hitters," said Bambenek "Our middles were getting kills early in the match, which opened things up for Christi later on. Defensively, it's nice to see so many players contributing but Haley (Collins) and Morgan (Kline) gave a tremendous effort tonight."
UNCW is back in action Tuesday as it hosts North Carolina Central in a 6 p.m. contest at Hanover Hall. The Tribe returns to the court Oct. 26 with a 7 p.m. home contest against CAA foe James Madison.