CAA Volleyball Report - Sept. 25, 2023
CAA Volleyball Report - Sept. 25, 2023
The fourth week of CAA Women's Volleyball has wrapped up and here is everything you should know!
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Naiya Sawtelle, North Carolina A&T
Junior | Outside Hitter | Stuart, Fla. / Jensen Beach
Sawtelle led North Carolina A&T to a 2-0 weekend in CAA play, recording 6.33 points and 5.33 kills per set while posting a .471 hitting percentage. The junior outside hitter added 16 digs (2.67/set), five service aces (0.83/set) and two blocks (0.33/set) during the weekend sweep of Hampton. On Saturday, Sawtelle recorded her third double-double this season with 21 kills, hitting .516, and 11 digs while adding five service aces in a straight-set victory. She followed the performance with a match-high 11 kills on a .400 attacking percentage, surpassing 1,000 career kills in A&T’s second straight three-set win.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tynley Smeltzer, Charleston
Junior | Libero | Savannah, Ga. / Calvary Day School
Smeltzer contributed a tremendous effort on the Charleston backline, averaging 6.00 digs per set to help the Cougars to a weekend split. The junior libero tallied double-digit digs in both contests, extending her streak to four matches with at least 10 digs. She totaled 36 digs for the weekend. On Saturday, Smeltzer recorded 16 digs with a perfect 1.000 serve receive percentage in a straight-set victory over Stony Brook. On Sunday, she added a match-high 20 digs, her third effort with at least 20 this season, despite a setback to the Seawolves.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Grace Melnick, UNCW
Junior | Middle Blocker/Hitter | Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. / A.N. Myer
Melnick led UNCW to a 2-0 weekend and its first 4-0 start in league play since 1988, recording 1.88 blocks per set as the Seahawks limited Elon to .139 hitting. The junior middle also contributed to the attack, tallying 3.13 kills per set on a .550 hitting percentage. On Sunday, Melnick recorded a career-high and program record 13 blocks, helping UNCW engineer a reverse sweep of Elon. She added a career-best 13 kills while swinging .435 and one dig in the effort. In match one, Melnick contributed 12 kills, posting a .706 attacking percentage with two blocks and one dig defensively.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Kaili Doctor, North Carolina A&T
Freshman | Outside Hitter | Mars, Pa. / Pine Richland
Doctor contributed 13 kills and recorded just one attacking error, posting a .500 hitting percentage to help North Carolina A&T to a 2-0 weekend. On Saturday, Doctor tallied seven kills without an error, hitting .500, and finished second on the team in kills. She followed the performance with six kills and one block, hitting .500 for the second straight match and third time this season.
SEAHAWKS SOAR TO EARLY CAA LEAD
• UNCW started CAA play 4-0 for the first time since 1988. The Seahawks have posted back-to-back 2-0 weekends to begin league play, emerging as the final team unbeaten in the conference standings. UNCW defeated Elon in straight sets on Saturday before engineering a reverse sweep on Sunday. The Seahawks have won three of their first four league matches in straight sets.
• Towson and Delaware split a pair of five-set matches over the weekend in a heavyweight CAA bout. The teams pegged first and second in the preseason poll, squared off in a rematch of last season’s CAA Championship match. On Friday, the Blue Hens snapped a 14-match losing streak to the Tigers, winning the first, third and fifth sets before Towson bounced back, taking the first, fourth and fifth sets on Sunday.
BATTLE OF THE BIG CATS
• The Tigers and Pride, off to 3-1 starts in league play, will square off in Hempstead this weekend. Towson and Hofstra were slated first and third in the preseason poll following a first and second finish during the 2022 regular season. The Tigers and Pride have been a premier CAA matchup of recent, with Towson maintaining an 11-7 edge over the past decade. In 2021, Hofstra snapped Towson’s 23-match CAA winning streak before the Tigers returned the favor, handing the Pride its only losses last fall after a 14-0 start to league play, so get your popcorn ready for 2023.
EYES ON THE TAR HEEL STATE
• UNCW puts its 4-0 start to league play on the line this weekend, hosting in-state rival Campbell, who has opened its inaugural CAA campaign 3-1. The teams played 10 straight years from 2011-2019 and every other year since. The rivalry dates back to 1986, with UNCW holding a 34-17 lead in the series. It has been a split over the past four matches, including Campbell winning the most recent matchup in 2021.
HOW SWEEP IT IS
• Eight of the first 12 season-series in CAA Volleyball have resulted in sweeps. After five series sweeps during the opening weekend of CAA play, three teams swept in week two. What is impressive about the eight series sweeps is that seven different CAA teams have earned a season sweep through the first two weeks this season.
• Campbell went 2-0 against William Mary over the weekend, earning its first CAA sweep. It marks the first unbeaten weekend for Campbell this fall.
• Chloe Cook paced Campbell with 35 kills, averaging 4.38 per set. The senior also totaled 12 digs (1.50/set). Cook recorded a career-best 22 kills on a .308 hitting percentage in the weekend finale.
• Claranne Fechter continued her impressive play on the Campbell backline. Fechter tallied 40 digs (5.00/set), reaching double digits in both contests. The senior has at least 10 digs in 12 straight matches.
• Charleston earned a weekend split against Stony Brook. The Cougars won in straight sets on Saturday before falling in three sets on Sunday.
• Tynley Smeltzer averaged 6.00 digs per set on the Charleston backline. She totaled 36 digs for the weekend, recording 16 and 20 in each match. Smeltzer has at least 20 digs in three of the past four contests.
• Lexi Wierzbicki led Charleston with 14 kills on Saturday, and Sopheea Mink paced the Cougars with 14 on Sunday. It marks the eighth double-digit effort for Wierzbicki, while it matched a career-high for Mink.
• Delaware split a pair of five-set matches at Towson this weekend. The win snapped a 14-match losing streak to the Tigers and was their first win against Towson on the road since 2016.
• Lani Mason recorded back-to-back double-doubles, leading Delaware with 38 kills (3.80/set) and added 22 digs (2.20/set). Mason tallied a season-best 22 kills in the victory, her third 20-plus effort this fall.
• Savannah Seemans contributed 37 digs (3.70/set), reaching double figures in both contests. Seemans recorded a season-best 20 on Friday before 17 on Sunday. She has 10 or more digs six times this year.
• Elon fell in back-to-back contests to UNCW over the weekend. The Phoenix fell in three on Saturday before battling in a five-set defeat on Sunday.
• Jordan Gower paced the Elon defense with 42 digs (5.25/set). Gower reached 20 digs in both contests, with 22 on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. She has 20 or more digs on five occasions this fall.
• Freshman Keira Kasten had the best weekend of her career with 23 kills (2.86/set). The outside hitter had a season-best 16 kills and added nine digs on Sunday. It marked her first career double-digit kill performance.
• Hampton dropped back-to-back contests to North Carolina A&T over the weekend. The Lady Pirates fell in straight sets to A&T on Saturday and Sunday.
• Rhisen Davis recorded a team-high 12 kills (2.00/set) for Hampton. On Saturday, Davis tallied a career-best seven kills while swinging .467 with three digs.
• Maria Eduarda Rodrigues contributed 21 assists (3.50/set). The senior right side recorded a career-high 18 assists on Saturday. It marks her third double-digit assist effort this fall.
• Hofstra split its series against Northeastern, winning the opening match in straight sets before a four-set defeat. The victory gave Hofstra its longest winning streak this fall at seven matches.
• Clara Bal led the way with 31 kills (4.43/set) on a .296 attacking percentage. Bal reached double-digit kills in both matches, including a career-best 20 in the victory. She has at least 10 kills in 12 contests this fall.
• Izadora Stedile tallied double-doubles in back-to-back contests. The sophomore has four straight double-doubles and seven this fall. For the weekend, she totaled 29 kills (4.14/set) and 24 digs (3.43/set).
• North Carolina A&T went 2-0 against Hampton, winning both matches in straight sets. Not only did A&T pick up its first CAA win this fall, but it was the first unbeaten weekend for the Aggies.
• Naiya Sawtelle paced A&T with 32 kills (5.33/set) and hit a red-hot .471. Sawtelle recorded her third double-double (21K, 11D) on Saturday before surpassing 1,000 career kills on Sunday.
• Chiara Napoli facilitate the attack with 44 assists (7.33/set) while adding eight service aces (1.33/set). Napoli tallied her 10th 20-plus assist effort before contributing 19 assists, nine digs and seven service aces.
• The Seahawks went 2-0 against Elon, defeating the Phoenix in three sets on Saturday before a reverse sweep on Sunday. UNCW is 4-0 in CAA play for the first time since 1988.
• Grace Melnick led UNCW with 25 kills (3.13/set) on a .550 hitting percentage and tallied 15 blocks (1.88/set). On Sunday, Melnick recorded her first double-double with a career-best 13 kills and a program-record 13 blocks.
• Jadyn Berry tallied 39 digs (4.88/set) and reached double figures in both contests. Berry has at least 10 digs in six consecutive matches.
• Northeastern split a pair of contests against Hofstra over the weekend. The Huskies fell in four sets before a straight-set victory. The win snapped a four-match losing streak to the Pride.
• Defne Arliel tallied a team-best 18 kills (2.57/set) and added 13 digs (1.86/set). The senior outside hitter also surpassed 500 career kills on Saturday.
• Julianna Truscott contributed 17 kills (2.43/set) and 22 digs (3.14/set). Additionally, the graduate posted a .333 hitting percentage. Truscott recorded her first double-double this fall with a season-best 10 kills and 11 digs on Saturday.
• Stony Brook went 1-1 against Charleston, earning its first victory in program history over the Cougars. The Seawolves fell in three sets before a straight-set victory of their own.
• Kali Moore paced Stony Brook with 21 kills (3.50/set) and added 21 digs (3.50/set). Moore tallied her fourth double-double this fall with 14 kills and 15 digs in the victory.
• Julia Patsos led the defensive effort with 34 digs, averaging 5.67 per set. She reached double figures in both contests, recording 18 and 16 digs. Patsos has at least 10 digs in nine straight matches.
• Towson split a pair of five-set matches against Delaware. The Tigers lost the series opener before bouncing back on Sunday. It was just Towson’s second home loss in CAA play over the past five years.
• Nina Cajic paced Towson with 43 kills (4.30/set), hitting .340 for the weekend. She also added 17 digs (1.70/set). Cajic tallied her third double-double this fall with a career-high 24 kills and 10 digs in the win.
• Victoria Barrett added 41 kills (4.10/set) with 18 digs (1.80/set). Barrett tallied double-digit kills in both contests, including a career-best 25 in the win. She also had her fourth double-double this fall.
• The Tribe dropped a pair of contests to Campbell in their first matches as CAA foes. William & Mary fell in three sets on Saturday before coming up short in a five-set battle on Sunday.
• Sarah Callender led the way for W&M with 34 kills (4.25/set), posting a .341 attacking percentage. The sophomore outside hitter tallied a career-best 25 kills on a .406 hitting percentage on Sunday.
• Amy Schwem recorded back-to-back double-doubles, totaling 41 assists (5.13/set) and 29 digs (3.63/set). The junior tallied 13 assists and 12 digs before 28 assists and a career-high 17 digs.
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