Volleyball Travels to UNC Wilmington Tuesday

Team (courtesy of Will Bratton)
Team (courtesy of Will Bratton)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Following a 2-1 showing at the East Carolina Classic, the Campbell volleyball team resumes action on Tuesday at UNC Wilmington with the match set to begin at 7 p.m. inside Hanover Hall.

The Camels began the campaign with a victory for the second-consecutive season and eighth time in program history by beating East Carolina, 3-2, on Aug. 24. The tournament continued the following day with Campbell falling to UNC Charlotte, 3-0, and sweeping Bethune Cookman at the East Carolina Classic.

"Last weekend was all about learning what we can do," said head coach Leigh Mullins. "There is so much that we are going to be able to work on in practice this week."

Junior middle blocker Lindsey Coats (Dunn, N.C.) and sophomore outside Jessica Groen (Las Crucas, N.M.)  were selected to the all-tournament team for their impressive performances. Coats was honored as the Big South Defensive Player of the Week compiling 1.91 kills and 1.55 blocks per set, while Groan totaled 2.91 kills and 1.91 digs per set.

The Camels blocking game was in full force as Coats had a top-five all-time performance with nine blocks against ECU. She aided the team to 17 blocks, the most since achieving 20 at Lipscomb on Oct. 10, 2006.

"Our blocking was so important last weekend," said Groen. "There were some amazing blocks. Lindsey Coats was blocking out of this world. Once we penetrate the net with our block, we can set our defense up for success."

The high-point of the defensive effort was the first set against Bethune Cookman as Campbell was 11-for-11 in sideout opportunities. Coats tallied four blocks and the offense was in system as the team totaled 14 kills on 25 attempts without a mistake for a .538 attacking pct.

"The upperclassmen were leaders on and off the court," added Mullins. "Our freshman had the opportunity to play and see how they dealt with pressure. I was very happy with how the freshman class responded."

Freshmen libero Lauren Bewick (Winterville, N.C.), outside Katelyn Layden (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and middle blocker Sam Zuber (Sunburry, Ohio) and sophomore setter Pia Holzgreve saw their first action with the Camels.

Zuber was placed into a tough situation in the fifth set against East Carolina tied at 14 and responded with two strong serves that enabled Campbell to notch the 16-14 win. Bewick earned the starting libero role and tallied 35 digs over the weekend.

The advantage in the all-time series between Campbell and UNC Wilmington is held by the Seahawks with a 26-15 mark. The Camels won for the first time since 2006 last season at the John W. Pope Convocation Center with a 3-0 sweep, though the match was much closer with each frame decided by two points.

UNC Wilmington hosted the Beach Bash on Aug. 24 and recorded wins over High Point, 3-0, and Delaware State, 3-0, while dropping a contest to LIU Brooklyn, 1-3. Morgan Kline and Christie Laite paced the offense with 3.71 and 3.50 kills per set. The Seahawks utilized two setters in Natalie LaHaie and Victoria Phillips to open the season. Haley Collins led the back row with 3.71 digs per set.

Campbell rounds out the week with a trip to Williamsburg, Va., for the Tribe Invitational beginning with a 4:30 p.m. match on Friday against Georgetown. The Camels take on host William and Mary on Saturday at 10 a.m., before facing Manhattan at 4:30 p.m.