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UNCW Wraps Up Spartan Classic With Sweep

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 09/08/2012
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Senior Jennifer Mallard recorded 11 kills and a .409 hitting percentage to help UNCW to a 3-0 victory over Norfolk State Saturday
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Senior Jennifer Mallard recorded 11 kills and a .409 hitting percentage to help UNCW to a 3-0 victory over Norfolk State Saturday
NORFOLK, Virginia -  Junior Christi Laite recorded a match-high 13 kills and senior Jennifer Mallard added 11 to lead UNCW to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 27-25) sweep of Norfolk State in collegiate volleyball action Saturday in the Spartan Classic at Joseph Echo Hall.

The Seahawks improved to 6-4 on the season with the sweep of the host Spartans as they finished the Spartan Classic with a 2-1 record. UNCW returns to action Tuesday with a 7 p.m. match at NC State.

"Although I'm pleased with the win, I felt Norfolk State played a great match and definitely exposed some weaknesses that we will need to work on this week in practice," said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "Overall, this was a very good weekend for us."  

Laite and Mallard combined for a .382 hitting percentage, recording 24 kills and just six errors in 47 total attempts, to power a UNCW attack that finished the match with 42 spikes and a .278 hitting percentage. Sophomore McKenzie Keightley tallied a match-high six total blocks and added six kills without an attack error in 11 attempts for a .545 hitting clip. Senior setter Natalie LaHaie dished out 30 assists while junior Haley Collins tallied 15 digs to highlight the Seahawks' defensive efforts.

Junior Coralie Jarema notched a team-high 11 kills and a .417 hitting percentage for Norfolk State. Senior Charlotte Armstead pitched in nine kills and senior Maatra Henderson added seven. Freshman setter Darcy Moore handed out 26 assists for the Spartans.

With the score tied at 16-all midway through the first set, a kill by Mallard sent the Seahawks on a 5-1 spurt and gave UNCW a 21-17 advantage. Norfolk State would pull within three moments later, 22-19, but a Spartans service error and back-to-back service aces for Keightley gave the Seahawks a 25-19 victory.

UNCW took control of the second set midway through the stanza, notching eight of 11 points to turn an 11-8 edge into a 19-11 cushion. The Spartans responded to the Seahawks spurt, using a 7-3 stretch to trim the deficit to four, 22-18. That would be as close as Norfolk State would get, however, as UNCW tallied the final three points of the frame to take a 25-22 victory.

In a back-and-forth third set that featured a total of 14 ties and four lead changes, Norfolk State held a 23-20 lead when a ball-handling error by the Spartans sent the Seahawks on a 4-1 spurt that tied the match at 24-all. The two sides traded points to remain deadlocked when a ball-handling error by the Spartans and a kill by Laite lifted UNCW to a 27-25 decision and the match.

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