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Volleyball Preview: Georgia State

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 10/12/2012
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Atlanta native Haley Collins and the Seahawks make a visit to the Peach State this weekend to take Georgia State Saturday in a 2 p.m. matinee at the GSU Sports Arena
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Atlanta native Haley Collins and the Seahawks make a visit to the Peach State this weekend to take Georgia State Saturday in a 2 p.m. matinee at the GSU Sports Arena
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW volleyball team travels to Atlanta this weekend to face Georgia State in a 2 p.m. Colonial Athletic Association matinee Saturday at the GSU Sports Arena.

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 (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@SeahawkVB) accounts or the department's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@UNCWAthletics) pages.

Seahawk Notes
The Seahawks (7-13; 0-5 CAA) suffered a pair of home setbacks last weekend, falling to conference foes Delaware (3-2) and Towson (3-0) at Hanover Hall ... Sophomore Morgan Kline posted a team-high 21 kills last weekend to boost her kills per set average to a team-leading 2.72 ... Kline also posted her team-leading fifth double-double of the season, finishing with 14 kills and a career-high 19 digs versus Delaware ... Sophomore McKenzie Keightley continued her efficient hitting, turning a .232 hitting percentage to remain among the top 10 players in the league in that category (.319/6th) ... Keightley also turned in 10 total blocks to remain second on the circuit in blocks per frame (1.20) ... Senior Natalie Lahaie and freshman Victoria Phillips once again split setting responsibilities, dishing out 34 and 31 assists, respectively ... They remain listed among the top 10 players in the league in assists per set, coming in 6th (Lahaie) and 8th (Phillips) ... Junior Haley Collins posted a team-high 25 digs during the two matches and is currently eighth in the league in digs per frame (3.46) ... Collins surpassed Ginger Moon for seventh place on the program's career digs list with her eight-dig performance against Towson on Oct. 7.

Thoughts From Head Coach Amy Bambenek
"The team put a lot of good work into practice this week and feel they are confident we can have a breakthrough match against GSU. We have changed some things up in practice to simulate pressure situations and finishing games. Our serving and passing will be key so we can execute our offense. It's important we can transfer what we have been working on into Saturday's match"

Scouting Georgia State
Georgia State (2-14; 0-4 CAA) returns to action for the first time in two weeks Saturday as it looks to halt a seven-match losing skid ... The Panthers are led by senior Jamiee Freeman, who is pacing the program with a 2.19 kills per set average and ranks second on the squad in digs per set (3.29) ... Freshmen Natalia Nieto and Andrea DeLeon have split time at the setter position, averaging 4.66 and 3.85 assists per set, respectively ... Junior Emily Averbeck highlights the Panthers defensive efforts as she leads the league in digs per set (5.57) ... Freshman Eliza Zachery ranks fourth in the league in blocks per frame (1.11) ... Head Coach Tami Audia is in her third season with the Panthers program ... She has led the program to back-to-back appearances in the CAA Championship in her first two full seasons with the program.

Series Notes Versus Georgia State
UNCW trails in the all-time series with Georgia State by a 2-15 margin ... The Panthers have won four straight in the series, a streak that dates back to the 2009 season ... UNCW's last victory over GSU came in a 3-1 triumph on Oct. 23, 2009 at Hanover Hall ... The Seahawks are winless in seven previous trips to the GSU Sports Arena.

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 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

Making Short Work Of The Opposition
UNCW has wasted little time in recording its victories this season as all seven of its wins thus far in 2012 have come by way of sweep ... The Seahawks have dominated the opposition in those contests, posting an average margin of victory of 7.2 points with only seven of those 21 sets having been decided by five points or less.

Keep An Eye On Hitting Percentage
Entering Saturday's matchup with Georgia State, UNCW is 5-1 this season when posting a hitting percentage of .200 or higher, but just 2-11 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 Saturday's match with 1,439 assists, good for eighth place on the program's all-time list ... Lahaie is now 26 assists shy of matching former Seahawk setter Bea Gerevich (2000-03) for seventh place on the all-time list ... Junior libero Haley Collins enters the week with 1,046 career digs, good for seventh place on the program's career chart ... Collins, who recently became just the ninth player in program history with 1,000 career digs, surpassed Ginger Moon for seventh place on the career list with her eight-dig performance against Towson on Oct. 7 ... She enters the weekend needing just five more digs to match Sheldon Plentovich (1,051) for fifth place on the program's all-time digs list.  

Around The Colonial Athletic Association
Northeastern sits atop the league standings with a perfect 5-0 record while Towson is second with a 4-0 conference mark ... George Mason's Lana Zonjic (Offensive), Delaware's Chelsea Lawrence (Defensive) and Ariel Shonk (Rookie) received the league's weekly awards on Monday ... Hofstra's Kelsie Wills remains the league's leading hitter, averaging 4.52 kills per set, while Towson's I'shah Keliikoa is tops on the circuit with a .401 hitting percentage ... Towson's Aubrey Kirven leads the league with a 12.68 assists per set average ... Georgia State's Emily Averbeck surpassed Northeastern's Natalia Skiba for first place on the on the league's digs per set chart, averaging 5.57 bumps per set ... Hofstra's Adama Aja continues to guide the league in blocks per set (1.28).

Up Next
UNCW remains on the road next week as it travels to William & Mary Oct. 20 for a 2 p.m. CAA matinee.

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