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Volleyball Preview: NC State

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 09/11/2012
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The UNCW volleyball team continues its 10 match road trip Tuesday with a 7 p.m. contest against rival NC State at Reynolds Coliseum
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

The UNCW volleyball team continues its 10 match road trip Tuesday with a 7 p.m. contest against rival NC State at Reynolds Coliseum
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW volleyball team continues its 10 match road trip Tuesday with a 7 p.m. contest against rival NC State at Reynolds Coliseum.

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

Seahawk Notes
UNCW holds a 6-4 overall record after a 2-1 result in the Spartan Classic last weekend at Norfolk State ... The Seahawks opened the tournament with a split of its Friday matches, sweeping Stetson in the morning before suffering a sweep at the hands of Rutgers in the evening ... UNCW rallied for a three-set sweep of Norfolk State in its tournament finale on Saturday ... Senior Jennifer Mallard and junior Christi Laite were both named to the All-Tournament Team ... Both players averaged 3.00 kills per set , while Laite chipped in 1.78 digs and 0.56 blocks per frame and Mallard finished with 1.17 digs and 0.67 blocks per set ... Laite, who leads the team in kills per set (3.26), is ranked fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association that category ... Laite also sits second among all league players in points per frame (3.85) ... Sophomore McKenzie Keightley is second in the league in hitting percentage (.331) and is fourth in blocks per set (1.13) ... Freshman Victoria Phillips (7.92) and senior Natalie Lahaie (7.68) are sixth and seventh in the league, respectively, in assists per frame.

Scouting NC State
NC State carries an 8-1 record into Tuesday's matchup after sweeping its matches in the NC State Courtyard Midtown Invitational last weekend at Reynolds Coliseum ... The Wolfpack's only loss of the season came in a 3-2 setback to former CAA member VCU during the NC State Courtyard Midtown Classic Labor Day weekend ... Sophomore Darian Hopper paces the Wolfpack attack with a 3.10 kills per set average while Meredith Richardson is second with 2.90 spikes per frame ... Richardson has been the Wolfpack's most effective attacker, leading the team with a .417 hitting percentage ... She also paces the squad's frontline with 1.03 blocks per set ... Senior setter Megan Cyr, named MVP of the Courtyard Midtown Invitational, has averaged 10.50 assists per frame in the early going to go along with 1.81 digs and 1.01 kills per set ... Senior Alexa Minsk highlights the Wolfpack's defensive efforts with a 3.31 digs per set clip.

Series Notes
UNCW trails in the all-time series with NC State by a 4-1 margin ... The Wolfpack has held the edge in the series of late, winning each of the last four meetings in straight sets ... The two sides are meeting for the third straight season after the NCSU has made the trip down I-40 to face the Seahawks during regular-season tournament play in each of the past two seasons ... The Seahawks lone victory in the series came in their first meeting, a 3-1 triumph in Raleigh during the 1994 season.

Seahawks Hit On All Cylinders Against Hatters
UNCW turned in one of its best hitting performances in recent memory in 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 since 2002, 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.

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.

Record Watch
Setter Natalie LaHaie enters Tuesday's matchup versus NC State with 1,162 assists, good for 10th place on the program's all-time list ... LaHaie, who moved into 10th place on the career list during the Spartan Classic, is now just 46 assists shy of matching former Seahawk setter Ginger Bradbury (2000-01) for ninth place ... Junior libero Haley Collins heads into Tuesday's contest with 901 career digs, good for 11th place on the program's career chart ... Collins enters Tuesday's contest just two digs shy of matching Heather Kimble (1987-90) for 10th place.

Going The Distance
Since the start of the 2010 season, UNCW is 9-4 in matches that have gone five sets ... The Seahawks posted a perfect 4-0 record in such contests in 2010 and were 5-3 in five-set matches a season ago ... UNCW has played one five-set match this season, suffering a 3-2 setback at Wake Forest to open the Deacon Invitational on Aug. 31.

Making Short Work Of The Opposition
UNCW has wasted little time in recording its victories this season as all six of its wins thus far have come by way of sweep ... The Seahawks have dominated the opposition in those contests, posting an average margin of victory of 7.4 points with only five of those 18 sets having been decided by five points or less.

Around The Colonial Athletic Association
Northeastern and Towson are tied atop the league standings at 8-3 while Hofstra sits just back of the duo in second at 8-4 ... James Madison's Lizzy Briones (Offensive), Towson's Alysha McCreary (Defensive) and William & Mary's Dessi Koleva (Rookie) received the league's weekly awards on Monday .. Hofstra's Kelsie Willis continues to pace the league in kills per set (5.05) while teammate Adama Aja is first in blocks per frame (1.38) ... Northeastern's Natalia Skiba is first on the circuit in digs per set (5.84).

Up Next
UNCW completes its road swing this weekend with its final regular-season tournament appearance in the Spartan Spiketacular at UNC Greensboro ... The Seahawks will face the host Spartans Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on Morehead State (9:30 a.m.) and Youngstown State (4:30 p.m.) on Saturday.


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