Courtyard by Marriott Classic begins with 3-1 win for UNCW

Seahawks snap a four-game losing streak

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Courtyard by Marriott Classic begins with 3-1 win for UNCW

Maddy Kline (9) returns a serve in UNCW's 3-1 win over Liberty on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

Maddy Kline (9) returns a serve in UNCW's 3-1 win over Liberty on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

Joe Browning/UNCW Athletic Communications

Maddy Kline (9) returns a serve in UNCW's 3-1 win over Liberty on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

Joe Browning/UNCW Athletic Communications

Joe Browning/UNCW Athletic Communications

Maddy Kline (9) returns a serve in UNCW's 3-1 win over Liberty on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

Lanre Badmus, Staff Writer

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Home for the first time this month after going 1-5 on a difficult road trip the past couple of weeks, the UNC Wilmington volleyball team was glad to return to Trask Coliseum for its first batch of games in the gymnasium this season.

The Volleyhawks used the comforts of being at home as a boost in an important 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 26-24) win over Liberty in front of 819 fans on Friday night.

UNCW (4-6) used 14 kills from freshman setter Brynn Montgomery and 10 each from juniors Halle Hunt and Maddy Kline to power through the Flames (2-9) in four sets on the first night of the Courtyard by Marriott Classic.

It was the Seahawks’ first game at home since a four-set win over Davidson on Aug. 27. The match was tighter than the final score suggested, with 24 ties and 14 lead changes throughout, capped-off in a hotly-contested fourth set that ended 26-24.

“I think we just kept it positive, and we all just kept playing for each other,” said Montgomery, who nearly posted a triple-double with 20 assists and nine digs to go with her 14 kills. “We really worked hard and it paid off.”

Hunt had one of her biggest nights of the season. In addition to putting up decent numbers, the junior showed she could come through in tight situations for her team.

“Liberty was playing a great game, and it was really fun competition to have back and forth,” she said. “Everybody was playing for each other, we were spreading the offense well and everyone was getting kills and digging great.”

Hunt talked about how important it was to have a crowd backing them after some time away from Wilmington.

“We were finally back home, playing in Trask, and it was a great feeling,” she said. “I do think we had an edge coming back home because we had been gone for a couple of weeks, and I think just having the home crowd energy was exciting and it really helped us.”

Coach Amy Bambenek’s team will continue the Courtyard by Marriott Classic with a pair of games on tap for Saturday. First will be a noon matchup against Morgan State at 12:30 p.m., followed by an evening date with Western Michigan at 7:30 p.m.

Staff Writer Lanre Badmus can be found on Twitter @LonnyBadmon. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to njt8879@uncw.edu.