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Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina earned its first Southern Conference win of the season thanks to a 3-0 sweep of UNCG on Wednesday evening inside the Ramsey Center.

Western Carolina improves to 7-8 overall and 1-3 in the SoCon while UNCG drops to 7-8 and 1-2.

Merry Gebel led the Catamounts with 10 kills and 10 digs for her third consecutive double-double. Meagan Sanchez had a team-best 14 digs, followed by Abigail Veit with 11 and Gebel with 10. Sydney Carlson had a team-leading 13 assists and two service aces.

Maria Esch led the Spartans with seven kills. Christina Gregory contributed 11 digs, with Allison Penner credited with a match-high 21 assists.

After a UNCG kill brought the Spartans within one, 16-15, Western Carolina answered with three straight points for a 19-15 advantage. The Catamounts led by no fewer than three points for the remainder of the opening set and closed out the stanza with a Gebel kill.

Western Carolina opened the second set on a 10-4 run and pushed its lead to 16-7 following a MaKenzie White kill. A service error brought the Spartans within eight but they would get no closer.

An Anne Scholzel kill gave UNCG a 5-3 lead in the third set before a White kill sparked a 4-0 run to give the Catamounts a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Western Carolina led 20-13 following a Gebel service ace before UNCG trimmed the Catamount lead to three, 23-20, following four straight errors. A Gebel kill gave the hosts match point, with a Veit service ace closing out the match.

Western Carolina returns to action on Friday, Oct. 5, hosting Furman at 6 p.m.

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