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VB Preview: The Citadel & William & Mary

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 09/17/2012
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Following a three-week road swing, the Seahawks return home this week with matches versus The Citadel and William & Mary
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Following a three-week road swing, the Seahawks return home this week with matches versus The Citadel and William & Mary
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - After spending the past three weeks on the road, the UNCW volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of Hanover Hall this week for matches against The Citadel and William & Mary.

The Seahawks and Bulldogs will square off Tuesday in a 6 p.m. midweek contest before UNCW opens Colonial Athletic Association play Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee against the Tribe.

Staying Connected
Live stats are available for both matches and can be accessed by clicking here ... Both matches will also be video streamed on Hawk Vision and can be viewed by clicking here ... Fans can also keep up with the volleyball program by checking out the program's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@SeahawkVB) accounts or the department's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@UNCWAthletics) pages.

Seahawk Notes
The Seahawks return home for the first time in 11 matches after wrapping up a three-week road swing last weekend with an appearance in the Spartan Spiketacular at UNC Greensboro ... UNCW fell in all three matches of the tournament, opening with a five-set loss to the host Spartans on Friday before suffering setbacks to Morehead State (3-0) and Youngstown State (3-1) in tournament competition on Saturday .... Sophomore McKenzie Keightley was named to the Spartan Spiketacular All-Tournament Team, marking the second time this season she has earned All-Tournament Team accolades ... Keightley averaged 2.17 kills and 1.42 blocks per set during the event ... She also posted a team-best .382 hitting percentage, committing just five errors in 56 total attempts, to help boost her attack percentage to a league-leading .362 for the season  ... Keightley also currently ranks second in the association in blocks per frame (1.21) ... Junior Christi Laite remains the team's leading attacker, averaging 2.98 kills per set, while sophomore Morgan Kline is second with a 2.70 spikes per frame clip ... The duo enters the week ranked eighth and 10th in the league, respectively, in that category ... Junior Natalie Lahaie dished out a career-high 58 assists in the Seahawks five-set match against UNC Greensboro to improve her season average to 8.00 assists per frame, good for sixth in the league ... Junior Haley Collins, who has reached double-digit digs in each of the last six contests, remains the team's leader with 3.48 digs per set ... She is currently eighth among all league players in that category.

Scouting The Citadel
The Citadel brings a 2-11 record into Tuesday's visit to the Port City after claiming a pair of victories against Stetson and Charleston Southern last weekend in the East Bay Deli Invitational at Charleston Southern ... Senior Rachael Farrell paces the Bulldog attack in kills per set (2.23) while senior Jessica Maxwell has served as the squad's most efficient hitter, posting a .311 hitting percentage to go along with 87 spikes ... Senior Emily Dalton highlights The Citadel's back row, averaging 3.18 digs per frame while three players - Farrell, sophomore Amanda Rudnik and freshman Mikaela Tracy - have all surpassed the 100-dig plateau for the season ... Sophomore Lauren Hurt has recorded 49 total blocks to pace the Bulldogs effort at the net ... Amir Khaledi is in his second season as Head Coach of The Citadel program ... In his first season, the former Bulldogs assistant coach led the team to an 8-22 record.

Series Notes Versus The Citadel
Tuesday's contest marks the third meeting between UNCW and The Citadel and the first between the two programs in Wilmington ... The Seahawks have won both previous meetings, posting a 3-1 victory in their inaugural matchup on Sept. 15, 2007 in the Catamount Clash in Cullowhee, N.C., before rallying for a 3-2 victory over the Bulldogs last October in Charleston.

Scouting William & Mary
William & Mary enters Colonial Athletic Association play with an 8-5 overall record after defeating Elon, Howard and Hampton to capture the Colonial Challenge at home last weekend ... Sophomore Manon Murray  and sophomore Paulette Grand Pre have teamed up to give the Tribe a solid 1-2 attack this season ... The duo is averaging 2.46 and 2.43 kills per set, respectively ... Freshman Carolyn Albright leads the team in hitting percentage, ranking fifth in the league with a .302 attack clip ...  Sophomore Devin Andrews-Lyssy highlights the Tribe's defensive efforts, averaging 3.17 digs per set to rank ninth on the circuit in that category ... Grand Pre, meanwhile, is second on the team with a 2.93 digs per frame clip ... Senior Shaylin O'Connell is fifth in the league in blocks per set (1.05) and Albright is second on the team with a 0.93 blocks per frame average to highlight a Tribe frontline that is averaging 2.22 blocks per frame ... Head Coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton is in her fifth season with the Tribe program ... She has led the squad to a 64-58 record during her time as head coach of her Alma Mater.

 Series Notes Versus William & Mary
UNCW trails in the all-time series with William & Mary by a 46-3 margin ... The Seahawks enter Saturday's contest on a two-match winning streak against the Tribe, having swept the season series a year ago ... UNCW's 3-2 victory over the Tribe at Hanover Hall last September marked the program's first home triumph against William & Mary in 18 tries.

All-Tournament Team Honors
Four players earned a total of six All-Tournament Team honors during the tournament portion of the Seahawks regular-season schedule ... Sophomore McKenzie Keightley and freshman Lindsay Hartman earned the distinction during the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash in August ... Senior Jennifer Mallard was recognized at the Deacon Invitational Labor Day Weekend ... Mallard and junior Christi Laite were honored at the Spartan Classic ... Keightley picked up her second All-Tournament Team accolade of the season at the Spartan Spiketacular last weekend.

Laite Named To CAA Preseason Squad
UNCW junior right side hitter Christi Laite was named to the Preseason All-CAA Volleyball Team on Aug. 21 ... 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.

Seahawks Hit On All Cylinders Against Hatters
UNCW turned in one of its best hitting performances in recent memory in its 3-0 victory versus Stetson in the Spartan Classic on Sept. 7, recording 34 kills and just seven errors in 68 total attempts for a .397 hitting percentage ... That total represented the best single-match hitting percentage for a UNCW lineup since the start of the 2002 season, eclipsing the previous single-match high since 2002, a 3-0 victory over Grambling State on Sept. 12, 2003, that saw UNCW finish with 53 kills and only 15 attack errors in 98 total attempts for a .388 attack clip ... The performance also marked the second time this season that UNCW has teamed up to hit better than .350 in a match ... The Seahawks combined for a .372 hitting percentage in a 3-0 victory over Delaware State in the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash Aug. 25, combining to record 47 kills and just 15 errors in 86 total attempts

Record Watch
Setter Natalie Lahaie begins the week with 1,284 assists, good for eighth place on the program's all-time list ... Lahaie, who moved into eighth place during the Spartan Spiketacular, is now 181 assists shy of matching former Seahawk setter Bea Gerevich (2000-03) for seventh place on the all-time list ... Junior libero Haley Collins enters the week with 971 career digs, good for ninth place on the program's career chart ... Collins recorded 22 digs in UNCW's match with the Wolfpack on Sept. 11 to move into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time list ... She sits just 29 digs away from becoming the ninth player in program history with 1,000 career digs and just 43 bumps shy of matching Leslie Noukelak (1,014) for eighth place on the career list.  

Making Short Work Of The Opposition
UNCW has wasted little time in recording its victories this season as all six of its wins thus far have come by way of sweep ... The Seahawks have dominated the opposition in those contests, posting an average margin of victory of 7.4 points with only five of those 18 sets having been decided by five points or less.

Going The Distance
Since the start of the 2010 season, UNCW is 9-6 in matches that have gone five sets ... The Seahawks posted a perfect 4-0 record in such contests in 2010 and were 5-3 in five-set matches a season ago ... UNCW has played three five-set match this season, falling to ACC foes Wake Forest and NC State and state rival UNC Greensboro in a two-week span.

Around The Colonial Athletic Association
With league play slated to begin this weekend, Northeastern and Towson find themselves tied atop the league standings with identical 11-3 overall records ... Hofstra is in second place, having amassed an 11-6 record heading into the start of conference competition... Northeastern's Kelly Bacon and Towson's Aubrey Kirven were named CAA Co-Offensive Players-of-the-Week on Monday ... James Madison's Katie Daori (Defensive) and William and Mary's Dessi Koleva (Rookie) were also recognized by the league on Monday ... Hofstra's Kelsie Willis continues to lead the league in kills per set (4.79) while Kirven remains the circuit's top playmaker with a 12.28 kills per set average ... Northeastern libero Natalia Skiba still stands at the league leader in digs per frame (5.79) ... Hofstra's Aja Adama currently paces the circuit with 80 total blocks.

Up Next
UNCW takes to the road for the first time in conference play next weekend as it heads to Hofstra and Northeastern for a pair of league matches ... The Seahawks and Huskies will meet Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. before UNCW and the Pride square off Sept. 30 in a 1 p.m. contest.


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