Laite Leads Seahawks In Loss To Huskies
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
BOSTON - Sophomore Christi Laite recorded a match-high 15 kills and a .353 hitting percentage to lead UNCW in a 3-1 (25-21, 16-25, 25-19, 25-17) setback to Northeastern in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Friday at Solomon Court.
The Huskies improved to 12-4 overall and evened their league mark at 2-2 while the Seahawks slipped to 7-13 and 1-3. Both teams return to action Sunday with CAA matches. UNCW is at Hofstra while Northeastern hosts Georgia State. Both matches are slated for a 1 p.m. start.
"Offensively, we had a good night, but our floor defense had trouble reading the Northeastern hitters and we allowed them too many kills," said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "Christi (Laite), Jennifer (Mallard) and Courtney (Porter) all played well tonight and brought a lot of intensity. WE need to play with more defensive conviction against Hofstra on Sunday if we're going to be successful."
Sophomore Janelle Tucker posted 12 kills and junior Jasmine Marta pitched in 10 to highlight a balanced Huskies attack that saw the squad combine for 55 kills and a .223 hitting percentage. Sophomore Nichole Kurz and junior Nicole Bishop chipped in nine kills each while freshman Jillian Briner added seven and senior Lauryn Ciszek pitched in six. Briner and sophomore Ina Kamenova combined to quarterback the attack as the duo dished out 21 assists apiece. Freshman Natalia Skiba finished with a match-high 18 digs while Bishop posted seven total blocks to lead a Huskies blocking effort that finished with 11 total blocks for the match.
Laite was the only UNCW player to reach double figures in kills as the Seahawks teamed up for 40 spikes and a .175 hitting percentage for the contest. Junior Jennifer Mallard pitched in nine kills on a .389 attack clip as well as a team-best 14 digs. Sophomore Courtney Porter recorded a season-best six total blocks while freshmen Leah Gagliardi and McKenzie Keightley chipped in four total blocks each.
With the score tied at 14-all in the first set, a kill by Ciszek sparked a 6-1 spurt that gave the Huskies a 20-15 advantage. NU would stretch their lead to as many as six later in the frame on its way to a 25-21 opening-set victory.
With the score tied at 8-all in the second set, a kill by Keightley started a 12-4 run that put the Seahawks in control, 20-12. The Huskies would pull within five, 21-16, before the Seahawks rattled off four straight points on three kills and a NU attack error to take the frame, 25-16.
The third set saw the Huskies race out to an early 11-4 lead, only to see the Seahawks score six unanswered points to start a 10-3 stretch that would knot the score at 14-all. The two teams would battle back and forth until, with the score tied at 17-all, a kill by Tucker broke the deadlock and sparked the Huskies to an 8-2 run and a 25-19 victory.NU once again raced out to an early lead in the fourth set, scoring seven straight points to break a 3-all deadlock and build a 10-3 cushion. The Huskies maintained control throughout the rest of the frame, expanding their advantage to as many as nine during the set to cruise to a 25-17 victory and the match.