Birmingham, Ala. – Sydney Carlson recorded her fifth double-double of the season but Western Carolina was unable to hold off Samford as the Bulldogs defeated the Catamounts 3-1 inside of the Pete Hanna Center on Saturday night. Samford won the match by scores of 24-26, 25-15, 25-16 and 25-17.
Samford is 16-14 overall and 11-5 in the Southern Conference while Western Carolina drops to 12-15 and 6-10.
Carlson, a Birmingham native, finished with a team-leading 17 assists along with 10 digs. Of Carlson’s five double-doubles this season, two have come against Samford. Haley Multerer led the Catamounts with 10 kills as she finished in double figures in kills for the second time in her career. Meagan Sanchez had a team-best 20 digs followed by Merry Gebel with 12 and Abigail Veit with 11.
Kelsi Hobbs led four Bulldogs in double figures in kills with a match-best 18. Krista Boesing tallied 16 kills followed by Shayla Phillip and Lauren Deaton with 11 each. Grace Tiesman had 25 digs. Taylor Anderson dished out a match-high 48 assists.
A Boesing attack error sparked a 6-0 Catamount run as the visitors led 15-10 in the middle of the first set. The Catamounts led 18-11 following a Gebel service ace but the Bulldogs battled back and tied the set at 20 on a Deaton kill. A Hannah Price kill gave the Catamounts a 23-21 edge before the Bulldogs evened the set at 24 on a Boseing kill. WCU won the set thanks to a Multerer kill and a Samford error.
After a Sanchez service ace brought the Catamounts within one, 12-11, Samford went on an 8-1 run for a 20-12 lead after a Phillip kill. A Hobbs kill closed out the second set.
Following a Price kill that made the score 9-6 in favor of the hosts, Samford scored six of the next seven points for a 15-7 lead in the third set. Western Carolina got to within six points on four occasions but would get no closer in the frame.
Samford opened the fourth set on a 9-0 run. Western Carolina battled back, using a 6-0 run to make the score 23-16 before the Bulldogs won two of the next three points to close out the match.
Western Carolina finished the regular season as the No. 8 seed in the SoCon and will face No. 9 The Citadel on Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the first round of the conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The winner will face top-seeded ETSU later in the day at 2:30 p.m.