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Seahawks Rally To Defeat Patriots

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 10/30/2011
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Sophomore Christi Laite recorded a career-high 22 kills to lead UNCW to a 3-2 victory over George Mason Sunday
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Sophomore Christi Laite recorded a career-high 22 kills to lead UNCW to a 3-2 victory over George Mason Sunday
WILMINGTON, North Carolina -Sophomore Christi Laite recorded a match-best 22 kills and a .340 attack percentage to lead UNCW to a 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 20-25. 25-23, 15-13) victory over George Mason in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action Sunday at Hanover Hall.

The Seahawks improved to 11-16 overall and 4-6 in league play with the five-set victory while the Patriots slipped to 7-16 and 2-9 as they suffered their ninth straight defeat. UNCW returns to action Nov. 4 with a 7 p.m. match at VCU while the Patriots host rival James Madison Nov. 5 in a 7 p.m. contest.

Laite was one of three players to reach double figures for UNCW as junior Jennifer Mallard recorded 16 spikes and freshman Morgan Kline chipped in 14. Junior Natalie LaHaie dished out 45 assists to quarterback a Seahawks lineup that finished with 67 kills and a .173 attack percentage for the afternoon.

Defensively, sophomore Haley Collins recorded a season-high 28 digs to lead four UNCW players in double-figure digs as Mallard (16) LaHaie (13) and Kline (11) all recorded double-doubles.  Sophomore Courtney Porter tallied a match-best six total blocks to go along with nine kills.

Sophomore Lana Zonjic notched a team-high 16 kills to lead three Mason players in double figures as senior Noelle Fanella added 12 and sophomore Tori Price finished with 10. Junior Lauren Goodell dished out 43 assists to pace a Patriots lineup that combined for 54 assists and a .171 attack clip for the match.

Senior Kelly McCarter tallied a team-best 16 digs to lead four Mason players in double figures in that category. Sophomore Laura Spencer led all players with nine total blocks, including eight block assists.

With the score tied at 15-all in the first set, a UNCW attack error sent the Patriots on a 5-0 run and a 20-15 advantage. The Seahawks battled back to pull within one, 23-22, but Mason closed the frame with two of the last three points to take home a 25-23 opening-set victory.

The second set would see UNCW score six straight points to build a quick 6-1 cushion. Three unanswered points pulled the Patriots within two, 6-4, but the Seahawks regain momentum with a 7-2 spurt that put them ahead 13-6. UNCW would maintain a comfortable margin the rest of the frame, growing its lead to as many as seven before posting a 25-20 win.

In a third set that featured a total of seven ties and three lead changes, Mason took advantage of a 10-4 spurt midway through the frame to break a 12-all deadlock and go ahead, 22-16. The Seahawks ended the rally with a three straight points to shrink the gap to 22-18, but kills by Kelsey Bohman and Fanella would guide the Patriots to a 25-20 triumph.

During the fourth set, UNCW raced out to an early 4-1 lead, only to see Mason battle back to tie the frame at 15-all. The two sides traded points back and forth until a Seahawks attack error sent the Patriots on a 4-0 spurt and gave them a 22-18 lead. UNCW would fight back, scoring seven of the last eight points to post a 25-23 victory and extend the match.

UNCW never trailed in the fifth set, scoring the first four points of the frame on its way to building a 10-4 advantage. Mason responded to the spurt, notching seven of the next nine points to pull within one, 12-11. The two sides swapped the next four points until, with the score 14-13 in favor of UNCW, a Patriots attack error gave the Seahawks a 15-13 decision and the match.

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