Laite Leads Seahawks Past Tribe
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - Sophomore Christi Laite recorded a match-high 17 kills and posted a .359 hitting percentage to lead UNCW to a 3-1 (25-21, 26-28, 25-21, 25-13) victory over William & Mary in Colonial Athletic Association action Saturday at Kaplan Arena.
The Seahawks improved to 12-17 overall and 5-7 in league play as they swept the season series from the Tribe for the first time in program history. W&M, meanwhile, moved to 8-17 and 2-11. UNCW returns home Friday to host league-leading Northeastern in a 7 p.m. start while William & Mary closes out the regular season Thursday with a 7 p.m. match at VCU.
"I'm so proud of how determined our team was tonight," said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. "It's very difficult to beat the same team twice in our conference, especially on the road. I'm equally happy about our offensive and defensive production in this match."
Laite was one of three UNCW players to reach double figures as freshman Morgan Kline chipped in 12 spikes and junior Jennifer Mallard added 11. Senior Kelsey Bendig dished out 30 assists and junior Natalie LaHaie added 11 to direct a Seahawks lineup that finished with 54 kills and a .255 hitting percentage for the match.
Sophomore Haley Collins posted a match-best 28 digs to lead three players in double figures as Kline pitched in 16 and Laite added 10 to give both players a double-double. Sophomore Courtney Porter notched a match-high six total blocks and freshman McKenzie Keightley added five.
Freshmen Monika Stanciauskas and Manon Murray recorded 11 kills apiece to pace W&M. Junior Molly Krull handed out a match-best 40 assists to guide a Tribe attack that combined for 54 kills and a .194 attack percentage.
Murray tallied a team-high 17 digs to lead W&M players in double figures as sophomore Celine Alasomuka recorded 16 and Krull and freshman Paulette Grand Pre finished with 10 digs apiece.
The Seahawks never trailed in the first set, opening an early 5-1 lead on their way to building a 15-8 advantage. UNCW would expand its cushion to 22-12 before the Tribe rattled off seven of the next nine points to get within three, 24-21. Porter would quell the rally, recording a kill on the next point to give the Seahawks a 25-21 opening-set decision.
The Tribe evened the match at 1-all with a 28-26 victory in a back-and-forth second set that featured a total of 11 ties and four lead changes. With the score tied at 26-all late in the frame, a kill by Grand Pre and a Seahawk attack error would break the deadlock and give W&M the two-point victory.
With the score tied at 14-all in the third set, a kill by Laite sparked a 9-2 run that gave the Seahawks a 23-16 advantage. W&M would tally five of the next six points to cut the UNCW advantage to three, 24-21, but a spike by Laite ended the threat and gave the Seahawks a 25-21 triumph.
UNCW rolled to a 25-13 victory in the fourth set, scoring eight of the first nine points to open a quick 8-1 advantage before using a 9-3 run to close out the frame and record the 12-point margin of victory.