Volleyball Preview: JMU & George Mason
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW volleyball team begins a stretch of four of its final six matches at home as it hosts James Madison and George Mason in a pair of Colonial Athletic Association matches this weekend at Hanover Hall.
The Seahawks welcome the league-leading Dukes to town Friday for a 7 p.m. match before turning their focus to the Patriots Sunday in a 1 p.m. matinee. Live stats and streaming video will be available for both matches and can be accessed by clicking the respective links at the top of the page.
UNCW (9-16; 2-6 CAA) is back in the Port City after being swept in its matches at Delaware and Towson last weekend. Sophomore Christi Laite remains the focal point of the Seahawks attack as she paces the squad and ranks seventh in the league in kills per set (3.26). Freshman McKenzie Keightley currently stands as the team's most efficient attacker, leading the team with a .236 attack clip. Defensively, sophomore Haley Collins sits seventh in the league in digs per set (4.05) while sophomore Courtney Porter paces the roster in blocks per set (1.24).
Winners of five of its last six matches, James Madison (17-6; 7-2 CAA) enters the weekend in a tie for first place in the league standings with defending CAA tournament champion Delaware. Three-time CAA Offensive Player-of-the-Week junior Natalie Abel boasts a team-high 3.05 kills per set average and a .241 attack clip to pace a balanced Dukes attack that features four players with more than 160 kills to their credit this season. Defensively, sophomore Katie Daorai ranks ninth in the league in digs per set (3.97) while sophomore Kelly Maquire is fifth on the circuit in blocks per frame (1.07).
George Mason (7-14; 2-7 CAA) heads south this weekend looking to halt a seven-match losing skid. The Patriots are led offensively by sophomore Lana Zonjic and her 3.14 kills per set average. Sophomore Tori Price and junior Lauren Goodell have split time at the setter position this season, averaging 8.08 and 7.61 assists per frame to sit seventh and ninth, respectively, in the league in that category.
On the backline, senior Kelly McCarter leads the team and ranks eighth in the CAA in digs per set (4.04). Senior Kelsey Bohman (1.31) and sophomore Laura Spencer (1.10) highlight the Patriots blocking efforts as both players rank among the top four in the league in blocks per set.
UNCW takes to the road for the final time of the 2011 season next weekend when it travels to CAA rivals VCU (Nov. 4) and William & Mary (Nov. 5).