Volleyhawks clinch first-ever CAA Title, earn spot in NCAA Tournament

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Senior Meredith Peacock recorded seven kills, five blocks and three digs and third-seeded UNCW captured its first-ever CAA Volleyball Championship title with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-14) sweep of fifth-seeded College of Charleston on Sunday afternoon.

UNCW last appeared in the CAA title match in 1988, while the program that year set a single-season record with a 33-3 mark.

This fall, the Seahawks (24-7) earned a share of the CAA regular season title for the first time in program history and also won a program-best 12 matches in conference play. On Sunday, UNCW continued to make history, punching a ticket into the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time ever.

UNCW volleyball captured its first CAA Title on Sunday. Photo courtesy- UNCW sports
UNCW volleyball captured its first CAA Title on Sunday. Photo courtesy- UNCW sports

Peacock, a two-time All-CAA first team honoree, was tabbed the Championship’s Most Outstanding Performer. She also added two service aces in the win. Freshman middle blocker Anna Moss led her squad with nine kills and also recorded five blocks. Senior Lindsay Hartmann registered 12 digs, while junior Alyssa Desjardins added 17 assists.

The loss snapped a seven-match winning streak for the Cougars, who were looking to become the first No. 5 seed to win the CAA title.

In the first set, the Hawks jumped out to a quick 15-8 lead after a big kill from Peacock. UNCW ultimately held on in the first, out-hitting C of C as a team, .300 percent to .029 percent. Peacock had three blocks in the set alone.

The second set went just as well for UNCW, with the Hawks starting strong again. Katie McCullough’s kill made it 14-4, and she capped the set with another kill to give her team a 2-0 match lead. UNCW hit .393 as a team in the second set; with three players – Moss, Kristen Powell and McCullough – all supplying three kills each.

In third and final set, which UNCW hit .370 as a team, Nicole Lott chipped in five kills, Moss and Peacock each had three. In fact, all three players also came up huge with two blocks apiece. Fittingly, the match was won when Peacock and Lott were credited with a block.

Sunday’s title was that much sweeter for UNCW, considering that prior to 2013, the Seahawks’ last CAA tournament appearance came in 2000, when all conference members participated.

UNCW will find out their first round opponent and destination on Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. on ESPNU when the NCAA unveils its field of 64.