Seahawks Deny Bulldogs in Three Sets
Wilmington, N.C. – The senior trio of Cassie Uribe, Rachael Farrell and Jessica Maxwell combined for 19 kills, but it was not enough to turn back an upstart UNC Wilmington squad that completed a sweep of The Citadel by scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-17.
Uribe led all Citadel hitters with eight kills, followed closely by Farrell (six kills) and Maxwell (five kills), as the Bulldogs totaled 31 team kills in the contest. Farrell proved to be potent for The Citadel defensively, accounting for 15 digs, while teammate Emily Dalton added 11. Freshman Mikaela Tracy continued her solid play as she handed out 23 assists and made for eight digs. The Cadets slipped to 2-12 overall on the season.
UNC Wilmington's offense was highlighted by the combination of Morgan Kline and McKenzie Keightly, who managed 15 and 12 kills, respectively. Keightly converted 12 kills in 20 total attacks for a .500 hitting percentage. As for Kline, she completed a double-double with 14 digs to go along with her match-high 15 kills. The Seahawks (7-8) also got a strong defensive showing from Haley Collins (18 digs) and Lindsay Hartmann (11 digs).
The opening set of the match witnessed four ties among the first 18 combined points, before a series of Christi Laite attack errors opened the door for a 12-9 Citadel lead. UNCW quickly retaliated, behind the service games of Kline and Collins, with a 10-1 run that was due in large part to five Bulldog unforced errors. The Citadel put together a brief rally, trimming the margin to three on two occasions, but three kills down the stretch by Kline proved to be the difference, 25-21.
The Bulldogs regained their offensive rhythm in the second set, opening up an early 10-7 lead behind two kills each from Farrell and Ise d'Angelo. After a 4-1 run by the Seahawks, knotting the score at 11 all, Uribe came through with four of the next five Citadel points to push the Dogs back in front, 16-11. UNC Wilmington again put pressure on the Bulldogs, this time with a 6-1 run, drawing the set even at 17-17. Eight points and four ties later, this time deadlocked at 21, three consecutive unforced errors in the final four points made for the 25-21 Seahawks win.
Sensing the opportunity to close out the match, UNC Wilmington grabbed a 2-1 lead early in the third set and never looked back. The Seahawks converted 13 kills among their next 18 points to assume a 20-4 lead. Among those included five kills by Kline and three from Keightley. The Citadel burned its second timeout of the set and regrouped to score seven of the next 10 points, taking advantage of kills by Maxwell, Uribe, Farrell and Lauren Hurt to pull within 23-11. UNCW committed four errors among the final eight points of the game, but completed the 25-17 sweep on a kill by Keightly.
The Citadel returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 22 when they open Southern Conference play at UNC Greensboro. The match is set to start at 7 p.m. For more information on Bulldog volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.