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Seahawks Rally To Humble Pride

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 10/09/2011
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Freshman McKenzie Keightley recorded 10 kills and a .500 hitting percentage in UNCW's come-from-behind victory over Hofstra Sunday
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Freshman McKenzie Keightley recorded 10 kills and a .500 hitting percentage in UNCW's come-from-behind victory over Hofstra Sunday
HEMPSTEAD, New York - Sophomore Christi Laite recorded 17 kills to lead three UNCW players in double figures as UNCW rallied for a 3-2 (18-25, 21-25, 30-28, 26-24, 15-9) victory over Hofstra in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Sunday at the Mack Physical Education Center.

The Seahawks improved to 8-13 overall and 2-3 in league play with the five-set victory while the Pride dipped to 11-11 and 2-3. UNCW returns to action Tuesday when it plays its final non-conference match of the 2011 season with a 6 p.m. contest at The Citadel. Hofstra is back on the court Oct. 14 with a 7 p.m. CAA match at James Madison.

"I'm so pleased with this road win versus a very good CAA opponent," said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "Our team showed a lot of heart and fight in the last three sets and we finished with strong showing in the fifth set. The team has been working so hard every day in practice and I couldn't be happier for them to earn this win."

Laite was joined in double-figure kills by freshmen McKenzie Keightley (10) and Morgan Kline (11) while senior Kelsey Bendig dished out 37 assists and junior Natalie LaHaie added 10 to direct a balanced UNCW lineup that finished with 54 kills and a .138 hitting percentage.

Defensively, sophomore Haley Collins finished with a match-best 21 digs. Laite and sophomore Courtney Porter posted seven and eight total blocks, respectively, to highlight a Seahawks net presence that finished with 13 total blocks.

Sophomore Nikki Kinnier notched 18 kills to lead four Hofstra players in double figures as freshman Kelsie Wills and senior Anissa Whitney notched 17 spikes apiece and senior Erika Charry added 11. Junior Catalina Charry notched a match-best 53 assists to quarterback a Pride attack that finished with 68 kills and a .204 hitting percentage. Wills notched 14 digs and junior Kylee Maneja added 13 while Erika Charry posted a match-best 11 total blocks to lead the Pride's blocking efforts.

With the score tied at 9-all in the first set, a kill by Kinner sparked a 7-0 run that gave the Pride at 16-9 cushion. Hofstra would grow its lead to as many as nine later in the frame as it cruised to a 25-18 opening-set victory.

The Pride used the momentum of its first-set victory to get off to a quick start in the second frame, scoring five of the first six points on its way to building an early 12-5 edge. The Seahawks would fight back, using a 4-0 spurt to pull within two, 14-12. That would be as close as UNCW would get in the frame, however, as Hofstra scored nine of the next 14 points to go ahead, 23-17, and eventually post a 25-21 triumph.

In a back-and-forth third set that featured a total of 14 ties and eight lead changes, the Seahawks found themselves trailing 28-27, when a kill by Mallard and back-to-back attack errors by the Pride gave UNCW a 30-28 victory.

The Seahawks jumped out to an early 7-1 lead in the fourth set, only to see Hofstra battle back and tie the score at 16-all. The two sides would trade points, when with the score tied at 24-all, a kill by Laite and a Pride attack error gave UNCW a 26-24 victory and forced a fifth set.

UNCW took control early in the decisive set, tallying six of eight points to break a 2-all deadlock and surge ahead, 8-4. The Pride would pull within three, 11-8, later in the frame, but the Seahawks used kills by Kline and Laite and a pair of Hofstra attack errors to score four of the final five points of the frame and post a 15-9 victory to take the match.  

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