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Cullowhee, N.C. – The Western Carolina volleyball team opens the 2018 Southern Conference Tournament on Friday morning as the No. 8 seed Catamounts face No. 9 seed The Citadel at 9:30 a.m. The tournament will take place at Fleming Gym on the campus of UNCG. The winner of Friday’s first round contest will face top-seeded ETSU at 2:30 p.m.

Every match in the tournament will air on the SoCon Digital Network. Live stats are available via a link on www.catamountsports.com.

The Catamounts went 12-15 during the regular season along with a 6-10 conference mark. WCU went 5-3 at home during conference play but 1-7 away from the Ramsey Center.

Freshman Merry Gebel led WCU with 290 kills, 2.90 kills per set, 327 points and 3.27 points per set. She was named to the SoCon All-Freshmen Team on Wednesday.

The Citadel went 11-18 during the regular season and 4-12 in SoCon matches. Sharlissa De Jesus led the Bulldogs with 3.78 kills per set and 2.54 digs per set. Sarah Dobrich tallied a team-best 86 blocks.

WCU and The Citadel split the season series. The Citadel held off the Catamounts 3-2 in Charleston on Sept. 22 before the Catamounts made quick work of the Bulldogs in a 3-0 win in Cullowhee on Oct. 19. The Catamounts and Bulldogs last met in the SoCon Tournament in 2015 as the Catamounts claimed a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs in the first round game.

Keep track of everything related to Catamount volleyball and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports) and Twitter (@catamounts), as well as video updates on the department's YouTube channel (CatamountSports).

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