Camels face UNCW on Wednesday

Katelyn Layden  (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)
Katelyn Layden (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)

Game Notes (PDF)@GoCamelsVB | Like GoCamelsVB on Facebook | Free Video | Mobile Live Stats

BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Campbell welcomes in-state foe UNC Wilmington to Gore Arena/John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Happy Hump Day promotions can be accessed by fans at the match utilizing Twitter and Facebook.

Head coach Greg Goral and sophomore outside Katelyn Layden (Chapel Hill, N.C.) discuss the adjustments the team has made going into the contest against the Seahawks in the video that can be viewed above.

The match is broadcasted on the new free Big South Network that can be watched on any device including iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Live stats and  mobile live stats are also available for the contest against UNCW.

The Camels head to Harrisonburg, Va., on Friday for a 5 p.m. match against Cleveland State. Campbell faces host James Madison and Wake Forest in a pair of contests on Saturday.


Camels All-Time vs. UNCW: 16-27
Series History: The programs have met 43 times with UNCW holding a 27-16 advantage including a 3-0 win last year in Wilmington, N.C. Campbell won the last meeting at Gore Arena in 2011, 3-0. The Seahawks though have won four of the previous five matchups.
Scouting Report: The Seahawks enter the match with an 8-2 mark, including wins over Navy (3-1), Elon (3-0), Illinois-Chicago (3-0), Houston Baptist (3-1), N.C. A&T (3-0), UNC Asheville (3-1), Western Carolina (3-1) and Mercer (3-0). Alabama (2-3) and FIU (1-3) have topped UNCW. Christi Laite leads the offensive attack with 3.68 kills per set and .296 attack pct., while Morgan Kline has contributed 2.77 kills per frame.  The setting duo of Victoria Phillips and Alyssa  Desjardins have combined for 11.82 assists per set. The back row is paced by Haley Collins with 3.35 digs per set. Meredith Peacock has blocked down 1.59 attacks per frame. Amy Bambenek is in her fifth season at the helm of the Seahawks' program.

Scouting the Camels
- The 7-2 start was the program's best since 2001, when it began 8-2. The mark tied for the third-best start to a season.
- The Camels have pushed their opponents to a decisive fifth frame, four times, and have won each of those matches. Campbell rallied after facing match point, 23-24, during the fourth frame vs. San Jose St. and Georgetown.
- Jessica Groen leads the offensive attack with 2.75 kills per set. The presence of Alexis Hein (2.34), Lindsey Coats (2.29), Lorin Thomas (2.05) and Katelyn Layden (1.77) have provided the Camels with consistent offense threats.
- A 9.16 assists average has been totaled by Heather Wilson, who earned Big South Player of the Week honors on Sept. 9.
- The Camels rank fifth in the nation as of Sept. 16 in digs per set at 18.20 and are led by Mary Crema, who ranks fifth and paces the Big South at 5.55. Hein (2.95), Layden (2.64)  and Wilson (2.61) are all back-row contributors.
- A big presence at the net has been created by Thomas and Coats with 0.91 and 0.79 blocks per frame, respectively.

First-year head coach Greg Goral has used a positive approach in building the Camels' program. The resiliency and pure fight the squad has shown in coming from behind to win four five-set matches over William & Mary, San Jose St., Indiana St. and Georgetown has been impressive. This is just the fourth time the program has started 6-2 or better with the only other first-year coach to accomplish the feat being T.J. Meager in 1998.

Before coming to Campbell in Dec. 2012, Goral was the associate head coach at Morehead State and made his return to Wetherby Gym on Sept.  13-14 at the Eagle Challenge. He spent five seasons on Jamie Gordon's staff, where the Eagles tallied a 121-43 overall and 77-12 Ohio Valley Conference record. The highlight of the span was in 2011 when the Eagles made the NCAA Tournament. The 2012 squad ran through the OVC slate with a 16-0 mark before falling in the OVC Tournament championship game. Goral helped Morehead to four OVC regular season titles during his stay.

Five different Camels have been named to all-tournament teams through three events. Lorin Thomas and Mary Crema received recognition following the Tribe Invite. The Hampton Inn of Holly Springs Invitational MVP was Heather Wilson, while Alexis Hein was selected all-tournament. An all-tournament honor was earned by Lindsey Coats at the Eagle Challenge.

Wilson earned the Camels first overall volleyball player of the week honor on Sept. 9 since rejoining the Big South in 2011.  The Concord, N.C., totaled 8.56 assists, 2.38 digs and 1.06 kills per set. She registered a pair of double-doubles including a personal-best 50 assists and 15 digs against Georgetown. A 45-assist, 13-dig and 8-kill performance was achieved by the Hampton Inn of Holly Springs Tournament MVP vs. Indiana State. 

Opponents are unable to focus on limiting the effectiveness of just a single hitter, because coach Goral has five offensive threats that can step up in any give match. Groen has tallied 3.09 kills per set, but Hein, Thomas, Coats and Layden are all consistent attackers hovering around 2.00 kills per set.

Crema has notched a pair of career-best 31-dig performances against San Jose St. and Indiana State. She was the first  Camel to hit the 30-dig plateau since Sarah Hill vs. Mercer (10/24/2009). The Loveland, Ohio, native has stabilized a back row that has eclipsed the 100-dig mark three times this season - William & Mary (120), Georgetown (115) and San Jose St. (112). Communication bas been key in a back row that produced five players reaching double-digits in digs during the team's four five-set victories.

Wilson, a three-year starter for the Camels, has amassed 2,556 assists, the third most in school history. She recently passed Briana Sandburg (1997-98) with 2,486 assists at the Eagle Challenge. Second on the list is Sarah Dillon (2003-06) with 2,611. The Concord, N.C., native is also sixth all-time with 7.12 assists per set.

Hein, Wilson, Groen and Layden showed their versatility on offense and defense by notching at least one double-double on the season. Five double-doubles have been achieved by both Wilson and Hein. 

Crema was tabbed as the Big South defensive player of the week after totaling 5.77 digs per set to open the season. The Tribe Invite All-Tournament recipient reached her first 31-dig performance vs. San Jose St. and added 29 digs at William & Mary. The Camels tallied over 100 digs in each of their two victories.