Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina begins its pursuit of a Southern Conference title on Friday night as the third-seeded Catamounts face sixth-seeded Mercer in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. at the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on the campus of Wofford College.
All quarterfinal and semifinal matches, which begin at Friday at 11 a.m., will air on the SoCon Digital Network with Sunday’s championship contest airing on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) at 2 p.m. Free live stats are available for all matches via a link on www.catamountsports.com.
WCU clinched the No. 3 seed after going 17-11 overall and 11-5 in league play. Head coach Karen Glover was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year on Thursday, the second time in her career to earn that honor. Senior Meagan Sanchez took home the Libero of the Year plaudit, a first both for her and the Catamount program, while sophomore Merry Gebel was named Second Team All-SoCon. The Catamounts finished the season third in the league in three statistical categories including hitting percentage (.204), kills (12.86 per set), and assists (11.95 per set), while pacing the league defensively with 18.29 digs per set.
Mercer went 13-16 and 6-10 in conference matches to earn the No. 6 seed. Middle blocker Jaida Howell, who was fourth in the SoCon in hitting percentage (.306), was named to the all-freshman team on Thursday.
The Catamounts won both regular season meetings in 2019, outlasting the Bears 3-2 in Mercer on Oct. 5 before a 3-1 triumph in Cullowhee on Nov. 2. Friday marks the first meeting between the teams in the conference tournament. The winner of Friday’s match will face the winner of the contest between No. 2 seed ETSU and No. 7 seed UNCG on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Keep track of everything related to Catamount volleyball and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Instagram (@wcu_catamounts) and Twitter (@catamounts, @wcu_volleyball).