WILMINGTON, N.C. – Junior Jessica Croucher (Brisbane, Australia) and
sophomore Edarkis Branch (Los Angeles, Calif.) combined for 29 kills
while senior Bel Fakaosi (Salt Lake City, Utah) tallied 33 assists, but
it wasn't enough Saturday
as Delaware State was swept by UNC Wilmington and High Point on the
final day of the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash, held at UNCW's
Hanover Hall. For her efforts, Fakaosi was named to the All-Tournament
The Seahawks (2-0) took charge in the first match of the afternoon, downing the Hornets, 25-12, 25-19 and 25-14. UNCW never trailed in the first set and jumped out to an early 10-3 lead before closing the frame on a 9-2 run. The Seahawks finished the opening set with 16 kills and just two attack errors in 26 total attempts as it combined for a .538 attack clip in the set. Del State countered with a -.158 attack percentage, recording just two kills with five errors
The Hornets held things closer in the second set, holding a lead of 7-6 before succumbing to a 5-0 Seahawk run. Down, 18-13, a DSU timeout sparked a 3-0 run to come within two, including a kill from senior Laisha Davis (Riviera Beach, Fla.) and block from Fakaosi and junior Brooke Redmon (Warrenton, Va.). UNCW scored six of the next nine points to take the 25-19 decision.
The Seahawks took a commanding lead in the third set, scoring 14 of the first 15 points. The Hornets countered with a 6-0 run led by freshman Jasmine Jackson's (South Riding, Va.) three aces to pull DSU within 21-11. UNCW kept their pace however and finished the set and match with a 25-14 victory.
Croucher and Branch tallied five kills apiece for the Hornets, who were limited to just 14 kills and a .028 hitting percentage for the match. Fakaosi finished the match with 12 assists, two digs and one kill.
Junior Christi Laite led UNCW with a match-high 16 kills and just three errors for a .619 hitting percentage.
Delaware State (0-3) wrapped up play in the tournament with a 20-25, 24-26, 17-25 loss to High Point (2-1). Jackson posted a match-high 11 digs in the contest while Branch and Fakaosi recorded team-high's of 10 kills and 21 assists, respectively.
The Hornets had things tied at 2-2 before the Panthers took an eight-point lead at 22-14. Kills from Redmon and freshman Alena Jung (Kusterdingen, Germany) brought DSU within five at 23-18 before HPU finished things off at 25-20.
For the first time this season, the Hornets jumped out to a 6-1 lead, including a Davis kill and Fakaosi ace. The Panthers erased the Del State lead and eventually took a 20-16 advantage. Kills by Davis, Croucher and Branch tied things at 24-24 before HPU pulled out the 26-24 win.
In the third set, High Point posted a 9-5 lead and never looked back, eventually taking a six-point advantage at 22-16. The Panthers outhit the Hornets, .342 to .118 en route to the 25-17 win.
HPU sophomore Chelsea Davis finished the match with a team-high 11 kills and eight digs. Fellow sophomore Caity Farus hit .438 with eight kills and junior Michelle Chakirelis added nine kills.
Delaware State returns to the court next weekend with the Lafayette College Invitational, held Friday and Saturday. The Hornets take on Lafayette Friday at 6 p.m. and face off against Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday at noon and Saint Peter's at 3 p.m.