07/29/2014
Pt Cloudy, 71.0°
 
Volleyball
 
VB Preview: Courtyard Beach Bash

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 08/23/2012
Send this article to a friend Print RSS
The UNCW volleyball team opens the 2012 season this weekend as it hosts Delaware State, High Point and LIU Brooklyn in the UNCW Courtyard Marriott Beach Bash at Hanover Hall
View larger Courtesy: Mallory Bendig

The UNCW volleyball team opens the 2012 season this weekend as it hosts Delaware State, High Point and LIU Brooklyn in the UNCW Courtyard Marriott Beach Bash at Hanover Hall
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW volleyball team opens the 2012 season this weekend as it hosts Delaware State, High Point and LIU Brooklyn in the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash at Hanover Hall.

Tournament Format and Schedule
The UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash will feature six matches with all four teams playing each other once in a round-robin format to determine the tournament champion ... The two-day event gets underway Friday with Delaware State and LIU Brooklyn squaring off at 5 p.m. before the host Seahawks entertain High Point in a 7:30 contest ... Saturday's action begins with a morning session that features the Blackbirds and Panthers at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Seahawks and Hornets at 1 p.m. ... Saturday's evening session will bring the tournament to a close with Delaware State and High Point at 5 p.m. to be followed by UNCW and LIU Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. 

Staying Connected
Live stats are available for all six matches of the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash and can be accessed by clicking on the link here ... UNCWsports.com will also be offering free video streaming for all three UNCW matches during the tournament ... The broadcasts, which will begin approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of the match, can be accessed by clicking here ... Fans can also keep up with the volleyball program by checking out the team's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@SeahawkVB) accounts or the department's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@UNCWAthletics) pages.

Seahawk Notes
UNCW welcomes back nine letterwinners and five starters from last season's squad that posted a 12-19 overall record and recorded the program's most Colonial Athletic Association victories since 1988 ... Junior right side hitter Christi Laite, a Second-Team All-CAA and NCCSIA All-State selection in 2011, returns to the lineup after ranking sixth in the league in kills per set (3.28) while pacing the squad in attack percentage (.233) a season ago ... Laite also pitched 83 total blocks and 27 service aces to finish the 2011 campaign fifth in the CAA in points per frame (3.92) ... Defensively, Junior libero Haley Collins is back after a sophomore campaign that saw her rank fifth in the league in digs per set (4.17) ... Collins finished the season second on program's single-season chart for total digs (496) ... Senior setter Natalie LaHaie will begin the 2012 campaign as the program's primary setter after splitting setting duties with graduated senior Kelsey Bendig last season ... LaHaie averaged 5.97 assists per set in 2011, good for 10th
in the league in that category ... Fourth-year Head Coach Amy Bambenek also welcomes four newcomers into the fold for the 2012 campaign ... freshmen Kaitlyn Cobb, Lindsay Hartmann, Meredith Peacock and Victoria Phillips will all make their collegiate debuts this weekend.  

UNCW In Season Openers
Since 1978, the Seahawks are 14-19 in season openers ... UNCW has lost its last two season openers, suffering 3-1 setbacks on the road to High Point (2010) and Winthrop (2011) during tournament competition ... The Seahawks last victory in a season opener came in 2009, when it posted a 3-1 triumph over UNC Asheville in the Hilton RTP/NCCU Volleyball Tournament ... The win over the Bulldogs served as Head Coach Amy Bambenek's first collegiate coaching victory.

Record Watch
Setter Natalie LaHaie begins her senior season with 1,028 assists, good for 12th place on the program's all-time list ... She enters the weekend needing just 116 assists to match former setter Lacey White (2003-04) for 10th place ... Junior libero Haley Collins enters her junior campaign with 804 career digs, good for 12th place on the program's career chart ... Collins opens the season needing just 99 digs to equal Heather Kimble (1987-90) for 10th place.

Laite Named To CAA Preseason Squad
UNCW junior right side hitter Christi Laite was named to the Preseason All-CAA Volleyball Team on Tuesday ... A Second-Team All-CAA and NCCSIA All-State Team selection in 2011, Laite played in 29 matches for the Seahawks last season and ranked sixth in the league in kills per set (3.28) while pacing the squad in attack percentage (.233) ... She also pitched 83 total blocks and 27 service aces to finish the season fifth in the league in points per frame (3.92) ... Defensively, the Severna Park, Md., product averaged 1.42 digs per set as she recorded three double-doubles during her sophomore campaign.

Scouting Delaware State
Delaware State brings back six letterwinners from last season's squad that posted a 5-20 overall record and failed to qualify for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time since 2008 ... Slated for a fifth-place finish in the North Division of the  MEAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Hornets will look to junior Jessica Russell-Croucher  to spark the attack as the Brisbane, Australia product averaged a team-best 2.65 kills per set a season ago ... Russell-Croucher also ranked second on the team with a 2.04 digs per frame clip ... Junior setter Christobel Fakaosi will also factor heavily into Interim Head Coach Kelly Carrigan plans, as Fakaosi dished out a team-high 710 assists and chipped in 167 digs during her sophomore season.

Scouting High Point
Tabbed fifth in the Big South Preseason Coaches' Poll, High Point returns five starters and 14 letterwinners from last season's squad that posted a 9-21 overall record and a 6-8 mark in league play in 2011 ... Senior Courtney Johnk was named a Preseason All-Big South selection following a junior campaign that saw her lead the Panthers and rank among the top 10 in the league in kills (2.76) and service aces (0.28) per set ... Sophomore Kristen Heldt also returns to the lineup for fourth-year Head Coach Jason Oliver following a freshman campaign that saw her average 2.57 kills per set on her way to earning Big South All-Rookie Team accolades.

Scouting LIU Brooklyn
Picked to finish second in the Northeastern Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, LIU Brooklyn welcomes back four starters from last year's team that posted a 21-13 overall record and a 14-2 mark in league play to earn a share of the regular season title ... Among the returnees for 2011 NEC Coach-of-the-Year Kyle Robinson are sophomores Vera Djuric and Annika Foit ... Djuric earned NEC Setter-of-the-Year honors last season after guiding the team to a league-high .232 hitting percentage ... She led the NEC with an average of 10.72 assists per set and recorded nine double-doubles while earning Rookie-of-the-Week honors on two occasions ... Foit, meanwhile, was sixth in the NEC in kills per set (3.53) and eighth in service aces per frame (0.32) while posting seven double-doubles during her freshman campaign ... A four-time Rookie-of-the-Week honoree, Foit was named NEC Rookie-of-the-Year at the end of the regular season.

Series Notes
UNCW holds a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with Delaware State, having swept the Hornets, 3-0, in a neutral-site meeting in Lynchburg, Va., during the 2002 season ... The Seahawks trail in the all-time series with High Point, 9-3, and have lost three straight to the Panthers, including a 3-1 setback at the High Point Volleyball Classic on Aug. 27, 2010 that served as the season opener for both programs ... UNCW and LIU Brooklyn are facing each other for the first time this weekend.

Around The Colonial Athletic Association
All nine teams from the CAA are in action this weekend as the regular season gets underway ...  Northeastern was selected to finish atop the league standings in the CAA Preseason Coaches' Poll, released last week ... The Huskies received five first-place votes and 60 total points to earn the top spot, narrowly edging out defending champion Delaware ... James Madison was slated third and Towson was picked fourth ... Towson's Katy Buck was named the league's Preseason Player-of-the-Year on Tuesday ... The 2011 CAA Player-of-the-Year in 2011, Buck led the league in kills per set (4.05) and recorded a team-leading 458 kills for the Tigers last season.

Up Next
The Seahawks conclude their season-opening home stand Tuesday with a 7 p.m. match against Campbell.


Back
Seahawk Shop
BB&T
McDonalds
Hughes Bros. Tires
Carolina Ford Dealers
Coca Cola
Uploaded Ad
www.ncdot.org/programs/ghsp/
BlueCross BlueShield
Uploaded Ad
Uploaded Ad
Team Teal
Uploaded Ad
BWW_CorpAd
Enterprise Car Rental
Wilmington Orthopaedic Group
Keurig
Ortho Wilmington
Hardees