Cullowhee, N.C. – The Western Carolina volleyball team lost 3-2 to Mercer on Sunday afternoon at the Ramsey Center as the Bears spoiled Senior Day for the Catamounts. Mercer won by scores of 26-28, 25-17, 25-21, 17-25 and 15-13.
Mercer improves to 11-10 overall and 4-6 in the SoCon while Western Carolina drops to 11-11 and 5-6.
Merry Gebel and Abigail Veit each finished with 11 kills followed by Haley Multerer with a career-high nine. Gebel had a team-high 12 digs, followed by Veit with 11. With nine digs in the match, Meagan Sanchez moved into seventh place on Western Carolina’s all-time digs list with 1,305. Hannah Price posted 21 assists, followed by Sydney Carlson with 14. Aleah Keaton had four block assists followed by Price with three.
Senior Emma Tynan was honored during Senior Day festivities prior to the match. Tynan had one service ace and two digs in her final regular season match at the Ramsey Center.
Paige Alsten and Annie Karle each had 20 kills to lead the Mercer attack. Megan Smith had a team-best 14 digs. Maddie Nunley dished out 66 assists.
Western Carolina opened the first set on an 8-3 run. Nunley gave the Bears a 21-18 lead following a kill before the Catamounts pulled ahead 24-23 thanks to a Mercer error. An Alsten attack error evened the set at 26 before a Multerer kill and a Mercer attack error gave Western Carolina a 28-26 win.
Mercer pulled ahead 12-5 in the second set following a Todd kill and led by no fewer than five points for the rest of the frame.
A 4-0 run by the Bears gave the visitors an 11-8 lead in the third set. Mercer led 17-12 before the Catamounts pulled to within two, 18-16, thanks to a block by Keaton and Price. Mercer won three of the next four points as the Catamounts got no closer for the rest of the set.
The Catamounts enjoyed a 12-5 lead to start the fourth set and led by eight points on four different occasions to force a fifth set.
In a fifth set that featured four ties, consecutive kills by Roberta Todd and Karle broke a 13-13 standoff to give the Bears the win.
Western Carolina will play the remaining five matches of 2018 on the road, beginning with a trip to UNCG on Wednesday. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.