Volleyball Preview: VCU & William & Mary
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW volleyball team takes to the road for the final time this season as it travels to VCU and William & Mary for a pair of critical Colonial Athletic Association matches this weekend.
The Seahawks begin the weekend in Richmond, Virginia where they will face the Rams Friday in a 7 p.m. start. UNCW will remain in the Old Dominion State as it heads to Williamsburg for a 7 p.m. contest Saturday against the Tribe. Live stats and streaming video are available for both matches and can be accessed by clicking on the respective links at the top of the page.
UNCW (11-16; 4-6 CAA) finds itself in the hunt for postseason play after sweeping its matches against league co-leader James Madison (3-1) and George Mason (3-2) at home last weekend. Sophomore Christi Laite averaged a team-best 4.00 kills per set to power a potent Seahawks lineup that averaged 13.4 kills per frame and hit .210 for the weekend. Junior Jennifer Mallard turned in a solid performance on both sides of the ball, averaging 3.00 kills and 3.67 digs per frame as she recorded a double-double in both contests. Sophomore Haley Collins highlighted UNCW's defensive efforts with a 5.19 digs per set clip while freshman McKenzie Keightley posted a team-best nine total blocks (1.00 bps).
Winners of three of its last four matches, VCU (12-15; 5-6 CAA) enters the weekend looking to improve its postseason standing as it holds a half-game lead over Hofstra and UNCW for the sixth and final playoff spot. Junior Kristen Boyd paces the Rams attack, ranking third in the league in kills per set (3.57). Senior Courtney Hott serves as the squad's most efficient hitter, fashioning a .306 attack percentage that puts her third in the league in that category. Defensively, senior Amanda Friday leads the team in digs per set (3.30) while Hott (1.08) and junior Jasmine Waters (1.11) are both among the top 10 players in the league in blocks per set.
William & Mary (8-15; 2-9 CAA) will try to halt its current losing skid that has seen the Tribe fall in five of its last six outings. Freshman Monika Stanciauskas serves as the focal point of a battered W&M attack, averaging 2.02 kills per set while sitting fifth in the league in hitting percentage (.300). Freshman Carolina Rivas has dished out a team-best 9.03 assists per frame to rank sixth in the league in that category. Sophomore Celine Alasomuka is fourth in the league in digs per set (4.37) to highlight the Tribe's backline efforts.
UNCW wraps up its regular season schedule next weekend when it hosts league-leading Northeastern (Nov. 11) and Hofstra (Nov. 13) in Colonial Athletic Association action at Hanover Hall.