WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW senior student-athlete Christi Laite added another award to her rapidly-filling trophy case Wednesday when she was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Volleyball Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year. 

A native of Severna Park, Md., Laite becomes the first player in the program’s history to earn the distinction, which is given annually by the league in each of its 21 championship sports. Nominees must be a starter or important reserve on their team and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25. The winners were selected by a vote of the media relations directors at each CAA institution.

“This is such a huge honor for Christi to be recognized for her accomplishments off the court and represents the overall strength of CAA volleyball,” said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. “Christi has always taken pride in being a STUDENT-athlete, and her dedication in both these areas have made a tremendous impact on our program. “

Laite played a key role in the Seahawks’ highly successful 2013 season, leading the team and ranking among the top six players in the league in hitting percentage (.266), kills per set (3.21) and points per set (3.75) on her way to becoming the first UNCW volleyball player since 1993 to earn First-Team All-CAA accolades. Laite’s efforts helped the Seahawks post their first winning season since 1996 and earn a berth in CAA postseason play for the first time since 2000.

Laite was chosen to the CAA All-Tournament team and also earned All-Tournament honors at three regular-season events. In addition, she was named MVP of Navy’s Kristen Dickmann Invitational in August.

In the classroom, Laite is a Biology major with a 3.61 cumulative GPA.  A member of the UNCW’s honors program, Laite is a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award and Golden Seahawk Award recipient. She has also been named to the Dean’s List on four occasions.