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Volleyball Preview: Hofstra

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 11/02/2012
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Saturday's contest against the Pride will serve as senior day, with the Seahawks recognizing senior student-athletes Natalie Lahaie and Jennifer Mallard for their contributions to the UNCW program
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Saturday's contest against the Pride will serve as senior day, with the Seahawks recognizing senior student-athletes Natalie Lahaie and Jennifer Mallard for their contributions to the UNCW program
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW volleyball team plays its final home match of the 2012 season Saturday as it takes on Hofstra in a 1 p.m. Colonial Athletic Association contest at Hanover Hall.

Saturday's match has major implications in the league standings as the Seahawks and Pride will enter the matchup tied for the sixth and final spot in the upcoming CAA Volleyball Championship. UNCW will also be looking to avenge a 3-1 road loss to Hofstra back in September.

Saturday's contest will also serve as senior day, with the Seahawks recognizing senior student-athletes Natalie Lahaie and Jennifer Mallard for their contributions to the UNCW program prior to the start of the match.

Staying Connected
Live stats are available for Saturday's match and can be accessed by clicking here ... Saturday's match will also be video streamed and can be viewed by clicking here ... Fans can also keep up with the volleyball program by checking out the program's Facebook (UNCW women's volleyball) and Twitter (@SeahawkVB) accounts or the department's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@UNCWAthletics) pages.

Seahawk Notes
UNCW improved to 11-14 overall and 3-6 in CAA play as it won all three of its matches last week to extend its winning streak to four, the longest since the 2009 campaign ... The Seahawks opened the week with a 3-0 sweep of North Carolina Central on Oct. 23 before returning to league play with victories over George Mason (3-2) and James Madison (3-1) ... Junior Christi Laite, the CAA Offensive Player-of-the-Week, led the Seahawks with a 3.17 kills per set average while sophomore Morgan Kline was second with a 2.73 attack clip ... Freshman setter Victoria Phillips was named the CAA Rookie-of-the-Week after averaging averaged 5.67 assists and 4.17 digs per set last week ... She recorded a double-double in all three matches to extend her double-double streak to five straight ... Kline, meanwhile, turned in a pair of double-double performances to extend her team-leading total to nine ... Laite continues to serve as the team leader in kills per set (2.84) while Kline is close behind in second (2.78) ... Sophomore McKenzie Keightley remains the squad's most effective hitter, ranking fifth in the league with a .303 hitting percentage ... Keightley is also ranked among the league's top blockers, averaging 1.16 rejections per frame to sit second in the league in that category ... Lahaie and Phillips remain ranked among the league leaders in assists, averaging 6.91 (6th) and 5.99 (9th) assists per frame, respectively ... Collins continues to be listed among the top 10 players in the league in digs per set, ranking ninth with a 3.66 digs per set clip.

Scouting Hofstra
Hofstra holds a 15-13 overall mark and a 3-6 league record after halting a four-match losing streak with a 3-0 sweep of Georgia State on Oct. 26 ... Sophomore Kelsie Wills has served as the focal point of the Pride attack this season, averaging a league-best 4.38 kills per frame ... Junior Nikki Kinnier provides depth to the Pride attack with a 3.42 kills per frame clip ... Senior Catalina Charry has served as the squad's primary setter, racking up 8.51 assists per frame to sit fifth in the league in that category ... Sophomore Aja Adams has paced the Pride's blocking efforts, leading the league with a 1.25 blocks per frame average ... Senior libero Kylee Maneja is sixth in the league in digs per set (4.17) ... Kristina Hernandez is in her fifth season as head coach of the Pride program ... She has led Hofstra to double-figure victories in each of her five seasons in Hempstead.

Series Notes Versus Hofstra
UNCW trails in the all-time series with Hofstra by a 3-18 margin ... All 21 previous meetings have taken place since the Pride joined the CAA in 2001 ... Hofstra won the first meeting between the two programs this season, recording a 3-1 victory at home in September ... The two squads split their season series a year ago, with both program's winning their road match that season.

All-Tournament Team Honors
Four players earned a total of six All-Tournament Team honors during the tournament portion of the Seahawks regular-season schedule ... Sophomore McKenzie Keightley and freshman Lindsay Hartman earned the distinction during the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash in August ... Senior Jennifer Mallard was recognized at the Deacon Invitational Labor Day Weekend ... Mallard and junior Christi Laite were honored at the Spartan Classic ... Keightley picked up her second All-Tournament Team accolade of the season at the Spartan Spiketacular last weekend.

Laite Named To CAA Preseason Squad
UNCW junior right side hitter Christi Laite was named to the Preseason All-CAA Volleyball Team on Aug. 21 ... A Second-Team All-CAA and NCCSIA All-State Team selection in 2011, Laite played in 29 matches for the Seahawks last season and ranked sixth in the league in kills per set (3.28) while pacing the squad in attack percentage (.233) ... She also pitched 83 total blocks and 27 service aces to finish the season fifth in the league in points per frame (3.92) ... Defensively, the Severna Park, Md., product averaged 1.42 digs per set as she recorded three double-doubles during her sophomore campaign.

Seahawks Hit On All Cylinders Against Hatters
UNCW turned in one of its best hitting performances in recent memory during its 3-0 victory versus Stetson in the Spartan Classic on Sept. 7, recording 34 kills and just seven errors in 68 total attempts for a .397 hitting percentage ... That total represented the best single-match hitting percentage for a UNCW lineup since the start of the 2002 season, eclipsing the previous single-match high in that span, a 3-0 victory over Grambling State on Sept. 12, 2003, that saw UNCW finish with 53 kills and only 15 attack errors in 98 total attempts for a .388 attack clip ... The performance also marked the second time this season that UNCW has teamed up to hit better than .350 in a match ... The Seahawks combined for a .372 hitting percentage in a 3-0 victory over Delaware State in the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash Aug. 25, combining to record 47 kills and just 15 errors in 86 total attempts

Making Short Work Of The Opposition
UNCW has wasted little time in recording its victories this season as eight of its 11 wins thus far in 2012 have come by way of sweep ... The Seahawks have dominated the opposition in those eight sweeps, posting an average margin of victory of 7.3 points with only seven of those 24 sets having been decided by five points or less.

Keep An Eye On Hitting Percentage
Entering the weekend, UNCW is 8-1 this season when posting a hitting percentage of .200 or higher, but just 3-13 this season when hitting below .200 ... The Seahawks only loss this season when posting an attack clip of .200 or higher occurred in the Seahawks 3-2 setback at UNC Greensboro on Sept. 14, a match that saw the Seahawks post a hitting percentage of .263.

Record Watch
Setter Natalie Lahaie enters the weekend with 1,539 assists, good for seventh place on the program's all-time assist list ... Lahaie surpassed former Seahawk setter Bea Gerevich (2002-03) for seventh place on the career chart with her 21-assist performance at William & Mary on Oct. 20 and became just the seventh player in program history to reach the 1,500 assist plateau with her 21-assist performance against George Mason on Oct. 26... Junior libero Haley Collins enters the weekend with 1,137 career digs, good for fourth place on the program's career digs chart ... Collins, who became just the ninth player in program history with 1,000 career digs in September, passed Yvonne Holan for fourth place on the school's career chart (1,097) with her 12-dig performance against North Carolina Central on Oct. 23.

Around The Colonial Athletic Association
Towson sits atop the league standings with a perfect 9-0 league mark following a 3-1 victory over Delaware last weekend ... Northeastern is two games back of the Tigers in second at 7-2 while the Blue Hens are in third at 6-3 ... Junior Christi Laite and freshman Victoria Phillips were recognized as the league's Offensive Player and Rookie-of-the-Week, respectively, while William & Mary's Shaylin O'Connell as named the league's Defensive Player-of-the-Week ... Hofstra's Kelsie Wills remains the league's leading hitter, averaging 4.38 kills per set, while Towson's I'shah Keliikoa is still tops on the circuit with a .422 hitting percentage ... Towson's Aubrey Kirven continues to pace the league with a 12.48 assists per set average ... Delaware's Ariel Shonk moved into first place on the league's digs per set chart, averaging 5.63 bumps per set ... Hofstra's Adama Aja continues to guide the league in blocks per frame (1.25).

Up Next
UNCW closes out the regular season next weekend with road matches at Towson (Nov. 9) and Delaware (Nov. 10). 

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