Courtesy: Joe Browning Juniors Christi Laite and Siera Young go up for the block during Friday's match against George Mason at Hanover Hall
Carolina - Junior Christi Laite and sophomore Morgan Kline tallied 11 kills
apiece to lead UNCW to a 3-2 (25-17, 18-25, 19-25, 25-14, 15-8) come-from-behind
victory over George Mason in Colonial Athletic Association volleyball action
Friday at Hanover Hall.
The Seahawks improved to 10-14 overall and 2-6 in CAA play
as they recorded their third straight victory. The Patriots, meanwhile, moved
to 4-17 and 2-6 with the five-set defeat.
Laite and Kline powered a UNCW attack that combined for 48
kills and a .197 hitting percentage as junior Courtney Porter and sophomore
Leah Gagliardi chipped in eight spikes apiece. Kline also added 12 digs to
record her team-leading eighth double-double of the season while senior setter
Victoria Phillips dished out 19 assists and added 11 bumps to post her fifth
double-double. Senior Natalie Lahaie handed out 21 assists and chipped in eight
digs. Junior Haley Collins joined Kline and Phillips in double-figure digs with
12 while junior Siera Young tallied a team-high six total blocks.
Junior Lana Zonjic led four Mason players in double figures
as she tallied a match-high 13 kills. Freshmen Lolade Owokoniran and Isabella
Zaliagiris notched 12 spikes apiece while senior Danielle Cook finished with 10.
Zonjic also recorded a match-best 17 digs and Zaliagiris pitched in 14 bumps to
give both players a double-double. Junior Tori Price handed out 39 assists and
added 11 digs to join Zaliagiris and Zonjic in the double-double category.
With the score tied at 10-all in the first set, a kill by
Laite sparked the Seahawks to a 9-2 spurt and a 21-12 advantage. The Patriots
would trim the deficit to six later in the frame, 23-17, before another kill by
Laite and a GMU attack error would propel the Seahawks to a 25-17 opening-set victory.
Leading 6-5 early in the second set, a service error by the
Seahawks started a 14-6 spurt that would put the Patriots ahead, 20-11. UNCW
would pull within six moments later, 22-16, but Mason would
tally three of the next five points to record a 25-18 triumph and even the
match at 1-all.
In a tight third set that featured a total of 12 ties and
four lead changes, a kill by Zonjic would break an 18-all deadlock and ignite a
6-1 stretch that gave the Patriots a 25-19 victory and a 2-1 lead.
UNCW would never trail in the fourth set, using a 7-1 spurt
to expand a 10-8 edge into a 17-9 cushion. Mason would rattle off three
straight points to end the run and trim the Seahawks advantage to 17-12, but a Gagliardi
spike returned the momentum to the Seahawks, as they would notch eight of the
last 10 points of the frame to take a 25-14 decision and force a fifth set.
UNCW would continue to control play in the fifth set,
notching four of the first five points of the frame to build a quick 4-1 lead. A
kill by Zaliagiris and an attack error by the Seahawks would make it a 4-3
contest, but UNCW responded by notching eight of the next 11 points to take a
12-6 lead. The two sides would then trade points until a Patriots attack error
on match point gave UNCW a 15-8 win and the match.
Both teams return to action Sunday. UNCW entertains James
Madison in a 1 p.m. matinee while Mason travels to William & Mary for a 2