Atlanta – The Western Carolina volleyball team suffered its first two setbacks of the 2019 season on Saturday as the Catamounts fell to Fordham 3-1 in the morning and 3-0 to Lamar in the nightcap.

Western Carolina is 1-2 following the opening weekend of the season.

Match 1: Fordham 3, Western Carolina 1 (25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-9)

Madison McNally led the Catamounts with a career-high 14 kills followed by Merry Gebel and Abigail Veit with 10 kills each. Veit recorded a double-double as she posted 18 digs. Meagan Sanchez had a team-leading 24 digs while Caroline Perret had a season-best 15 digs.

With the Catamounts leading 10-9 in the opening set, the Rams went on a 6-0 run capped by a Joey Landeros kill for a 15-10 edge. A Makaela Tanaka service ace pushed the Fordham lead to 21-15 before WCU scored six of the next eight points to trim the deficit to two, 23-21 after a McNally kill. The Rams wrapped up the set with a kill and a WCU attack error.

After a Gebel kill gave the Catamounts a 23-20 lead, the Rams scored five straight points to claim the second set.

WCU used a 4-0 run to lead 12-7 in the third set before a Fairchild kill evened the stanza at 19. The teams traded the next eight points until a Veit kill gave the Catamounts a 24-23 edge and a MaKenzie White kill ended the set.

Fordham used a 10-0 run in the middle stages of the fourth set to clinch the match.

Match 2: Lamar 3, Western Carolina 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19)

Merry Gebel paced WCU with eight kills followed by Madison McNally and Haley Multerer both with six kills. Caroline Perret dished out a match-best 23 assists.

After Gebel tied the opening set at 16 with a kill, Lamar answered with five straight points. The Catamounts trimmed the deficit to two, 22-20, thanks to an Aleah Keaton kill but were unable to get any closer down the stretch.

With the second set tied at five, Lamar scored 13 of the next 16 points for an 18-8 edge as Western Carolina got no closer than five points during the remainder of the set.

Western Carolina led the third set 6-3 following a Lamar error before the Cardinals evened the frame at seven with a Nina Pevic kill. Lamar scored six of seven points in the middle of the set for a 16-10 edge, but the Catamounts battled back, pulling to within a point as a Multerer kill made the score 19-18. Lamar answered the Catamount charge with six of the final seven points to secure the match.

The Catamounts travel to Chicago next weekend for the Windy City Invitational. Western Carolina faces Cal State Fullerton and Alabama State on Friday before closing out the tournament against host Chicago State on Saturday.