Lott pegged as leader for beach volleyball


Genevieve Guenther

Cody Critcher, Contributing Writer

With the beginning of spring sports seasons, it’s time for the UNC Wilmington volleyball team to transition from the hardwood to the sand.

In just its third year as a program and its second as a member of the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA), the UNCW beach team looks to hit the 2018 season in full stride. Coach Amy Bambenek said the team looks to improve on the foundation that has been laid out over the past two seasons.

Bambenek touched base on some of the team’s past struggles in describing her goals for the squad for the upcoming campaign.

“In the past, (opponents have) beaten us 4-1 or even 5-0 so we want to be a little bit more competitive in our matches and hopefully get some wins under our belts in-conference,” Bambenek said.

Bambenek believes that with a mixture of veteran players along with some fresh faces, the Seahawks can “give a better challenge” to some of the teams in the tough CCSA conference.

Graduate student Nicole Lott is going to be an important piece for the Seahawks to achieve their goal of being more competitive this season.

Lott should be a familiar face to those who have followed the indoor team over the past four seasons. As a 2017 graduate of UNCW and a vital part of the indoor team during her time as an undergrad, Lott evolved into a top-five career stats holder for kills, kills per set, and attack attempts.

In her third season on the beach team and her first year exclusively on the sand, Lott plans on continuing to bring the intensity to the matches she plays. She knows she’s talented, but she remains humble.

She talked at length about her role as a leader for the team.

“I love leading the team,” she said. “I love being a part of the energy with the girls. Especially since this is my last college competition ever.”

While many would bask in the glory of being named a player to watch, Lott gave all the praise to the team. She said that being given the honor was “cool” and “exciting,” but more importantly to her, it is a testament to the hard work that the coaching staff and players have put into making this young program competitive.

Unlike the indoor team, beach volleyball has limited opportunities to showcase its talents at home. They will be hosting a dual event on Wednesday, March 21, against Jacksonville State and Coastal Carolina and will return home again on March 30-31 to host a tournament involving Carson-Newman, College of Charleston, Missouri Baptist and North Florida.