Bendig Reaches Plateau In Loss To Towson
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
TOWSON, Maryland -Senior Kelsey Bendig recorded 26 assists to become just the fifth player in program history to reach the 2,000-assist plateau as UNCW suffered a 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-19) setback to Towson in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Friday at the Towson Center.
The Tigers improved to 18-7 overall and 5-3 in league play with the straight-sets victory while the Seahawks moved to 9-15 and 2-5. Both teams return to action Saturday. The Seahawks travel to Delaware while Towson hosts Georgia State. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. start time.
"Our team did a lot of good things tonight and I thought we played well in the first two sets, but Towson was just better," said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "We are relying on our freshmen and sophomores to put away some pressure swings and tonight they weren't able to convert, but I'm optimistic that the experience gained in this match will serve them well in the long run."
Junior Katy Buck recorded a match-high 16 kills and a .343 hitting percentage to pace a balanced Tigers attack that combined for 51 kills and a .277 attack clip for the match. Sophomore Dayane Van Ass pitched in 11 kills and junior Alysha McCreary chipped in 10 spikes to join Buck in double figures while Aubrey Kirven dished out a match-best 44 assists. Freshman Paige Sekerak finished with a team-high 10 digs to highlight the Tigers defensive efforts.
Sophomore Christi Laite and freshman Morgan Kline notched eight kills apiece to lead UNCW, who teamed up for 32 kills and a .137 attack percentage. Sophomore Haley Collins notched a match-high 14 digs and Kline added 11.
With her 26 assists, Bendig became the first player since former setter Jill Hoeck in 2007 to reach the 2,000-assist milestone. The Matthews, N.C., product now sits just 53 assists away from matching Hoeck for fourth place on the program's career assists chart.
In the first set, UNCW jumped out to an early 9-5 lead and held a 24-21 advantage later in the frame when the Tigers rattled off three unanswered points to tie the score at 24-all. The two sides traded points until back-to-back kills by Van Ass and senior Susan Gansor gave Towson a 27-25 opening-set victory.
Towson raced to an 11-4 lead in the second set, using a 9-2 run to break a 2-all tie early in the frame. The Tigers never trailed the rest of the set, stretching their advantage to as many as nine, 16-7, on their way to a 25-17 triumph.
With the score tied at 17-all in a back-and-forth third set that featured a total of 11 ties and five lead changes, back-to-back kills by Van Ass and Gansor ignited Towson to an 8-2 spurt that gave them a 25-19 victory and the match.