UNCW Volleyball senior Bender earns preseason All-CAA honors


WILMINGTON,NC (UNCW Sports)–Senior middle blocker Kendall Bender has been named to the Colonial Athletic Association preseason team, earning an honorable mention spot.

The Seahawks, who saw four starters graduate from last season, were picked to finish sixth in the coaches poll.

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Bender is UNCW’s top-returning blocker from 2018 and ranked second in the CAA with 126 total blocks. She was named CAA Defensive Player of the Week on three occasions. Against tournament host Georgetown, Bender tied a UNCW program record with 11 blocks and earned all-tournament honors.

James Madison was the coaches’ preseason favorite to win the conference title while reigning champion Hofstra was slotted second. College of Charleston, Towson and Northeastern followed in order to round out the top five.

The Seahawks host UNCG on Aug. 24 in their lone exhibition match before opening their 11th season under the guidance of Head Coach Amy Bambenek on Aug. 30 against visiting North Florida in the Hampton Inns Invitational.