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Balanced Effort Not Enough Against Rams

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 10/02/2011
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Freshmen McKenzie Keightley (left) and Sarah Fitzgerald go up for the block against VCU's Courtney Hott during Sunday's match
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Freshmen McKenzie Keightley (left) and Sarah Fitzgerald go up for the block against VCU's Courtney Hott during Sunday's match
WILMINGTON, North Carolina -Despite a balanced attack that saw five players record six or more kills, UNCW  suffered a 3-1 (31-29, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21) setback to VCU in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Sunday at Hanover Hall.

The Rams improved to 6-12 overall as they picked up their first league victory of the season to move to 1-3 in CAA action. The Seahawks, meanwhile, dipped to 7-12 and 1-2. UNCW returns to action Oct. 7 with a 7 p.m. match at Northeastern.

Junior Anett Farkas recorded a match-best 20 kills and a .375 hitting percentage  and junior Kristen Boyd added 15 spikes to power a Rams attack that finished with 63 kills and a .331 attack percentage for the match. Senior Courtney Hott chipped in nine kills in 11 tries for an impressive .818 hitting clip before leaving the match due to injury in the third set.

Cecilia Aragao dished out a match-best 48 assists and notched 14 digs to post a double-double. Marisa Low joined Aragao in double-figure digs as she pitched in 10.

Sophomore Christi Laite tallied 18 kills and a .359 hitting percentage to lead UNCW, who teamed up to notch 54 spikes on a .260 attack clip during the contest. Junior Jennifer Mallard and freshman Sarah Fitzgerald joined Laite in double figures with 10 kills apiece and freshman McKenzie Keightley added nine kills without an error in 22 total attempts (.409).

Junior Natalie LaHaie handed out a team-high 46 assists while sophomore Haley Collins paced the Seahawks backline with 10 digs.

In a back-and-forth first set that featured a total of 17 ties and nine lead changes, VCU was able to rally from a 29-28 deficit, scoring three straight points on kills by Arnett and Boyd and a UNCW attack error to post a 31-29 opening-set victory.

Trailing 13-12 midway through the second set, a Seahawks attack error sparked the Rams to a 9-4 run that gave the Rams a 21-17 cushion on their way to a 25-20 triumph.

Down 8-7 early in the third set, a VCU service error sent the Seahawks on an 8-2 spurt that put them on top, 15-10. The UNCW cushion would maintain their distance from the Rams, growing their lead to as many as eight later in the frame as it coasted to a 25-18 victory.

The fourth set saw the Rams race out to an early 8-2 lead, only to have the Seahawks counter with a 8-4 spurt later in the frame to knot the score at 19-all. VCU would regain control of the frame, scoring six of the last eight points of the set to post a 25-21 decision and take the match.  

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