WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW volleyball team heads to the Sunshine State this weekend as it travels to Miami for the FIU Classic.

The Seahawks open the tournament on Friday with a 12:30 p.m. matchup with Houston Baptist and wrap up their visit with matches against Alabama (12 p.m.) and host FIU (6 p.m.) on Saturday. Live stats will be available for all three matches and a free video stream will also be available for the Seahawks contest against the Panthers.

UNCW enters the weekend looking to build off a solid start to the 2013 campaign as it captured the Kristen Dickmann Invitational at Navy last weekend. Senior Christi Laite, named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Co-Offensive Player-of-the-Week on Tuesday, earned MVP honors at the event by recording 44 kills on the strength of a .289 hitting percentage as she powered a UNCW attack that hit at a .228 clip during the tournament.

Laite was one of three Seahawks to be recognized as senior Courtney Porter and sophomore Meredith Peacock were both named to the All-Tournament Team.  Peacock tallied 17 total blocks and Porter pitched in 15 as the Seahawks combined to tally 36 total blocks during the tournament and limited their opposition to a .109 hitting percentage for the weekend.

Southeastern Conference member Alabama kicked off its 2013 campaign last weekend with a 2-1 mark in the Black Knights Invitational, defeating Seton Hall and host Army and falling to tournament champion Washington State. Junior Katherine White  and freshman Krystal Rivers were both named to the All-Tournament Team at the event as Rivers led the squad in both kills per set (3.27) and hitting percentage (.475) while White averaged 2.09 kills and posted a .333 hitting percentage.

Host FIU begins the home portion of the 2013 schedule trying to improve on its 1-2 finish in its season-opening appearance in the Gamecock Invitational last weekend. The Panthers dropped a hard-fought, five-set loss to High Point and fell to host South Carolina in straight sets before sweeping South Carolina State to close out the event. Junior Ksenia Sukhareva was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Gamecock Invitational after averaging 3.36 kills per set on the strength of a .243 hitting percentage.

Houston Baptist carries a three-match winning streak into the weekend following a 3-0 sweep of visiting Prairie View A&M on Tuesday. The Huskies will make its first road appearance of the season in the FIU Classic after opening the year with a 2-1 result in the HPU Tournament last weekend.  Senior Caiti Wenger was named Tournament MVP, averaging 2.42 kills per set and turned in a .424 hitting percentage. Junior Madeline Gaffney and freshman Kayla Armer joined Wenger on the All-Tournament Team.

UNCW returns to action next weekend as it hosts North Carolina A&T, Mercer, UNC Asheville and Western Carolina in the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire UNCW Volleyball Classic. All matches during the three-day event will take place in Hanover Hall.