Spartanburg, S.C. – Western Carolina rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set but fell to Mercer 3-2 in the Southern Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Richardson Indoor Stadium on Friday. The Bears won by scores of 25-20, 31-29, 21-25, 14-25 and 15-10.

Mercer improves to 14-16 while WCU concludes the 2019 season at 17-13.

Senior Abigail Veit had her 15th double-double of the year with 12 kills and 12 digs. Junior Hannah Price posted 35 assists and 10 digs for her 14th double-double of 2019. Sophomore Haley Multerer had 10 kills. Senior Meagan Sanchez had a team-best 14 digs.

Brittany Major paced Mercer with 19 kills followed by Annie Karle with 17, Jaida Howell with 11 and Alexa Morey with 10. Roberta Todd had a match-best 19 digs.

Mercer tallied the first five points of the match and led by as many as eight points before three straight Catamount kills brought WCU within three, 23-20. The Bears claimed the set after a WCU error.

The Bears took a 9-4 lead in the second set before WCU scored six straight for a 10-9 advantage. A Merry Gebel kill gave the Catamounts a 19-15 lead before Mercer fought back to tie the set at 20 on a block by Major and Morey. WCU and Mercer traded the next three points prior to the Catamounts claiming a 24-21 advantage. Mercer battled back and went on to claim the tightly contested set after consecutive kills by Major.

With the third set tied at 13, WCU scored three straight points and led for the remainder of the set to stay alive in the match. A Veit kill closed out the frame.

Western Carolina used three straight Mercer errors to pull ahead 6-3 in the fourth set. Holding an 8-7 lead in the frame, the Catamounts went on a 10-2 run for an 18-9 advantage. WCU led by as many as 11 points down the stretch and closed out the set with a MaKenzie White kill.

Mercer scored the first four points in the fifth set, but the Catamounts battled back with a Price kill bringing WCU within one, 10-9. The Bears scored the next four points and took the match with a Morey kill.

Sanchez concludes her third on Western Carolina’s career digs list with 2,050 as well as third with 4.66 digs per set. Veit is only 11 players in school history to have 1,000 career kills as well as 1,000 career digs. She finished her career with 1,152 career kills, 11th-most in program history and 1,246 career digs which ranks 10th all-time.

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