CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina volleyball team improved to 2-1 on the season with a win and a loss on the final day of the Catamount Volleyball Classic. The Catamounts upended Charleston Southern 3-2 before falling to Tennessee Tech 3-1. WCU was led by a pair of newcomers in the victory as junior Gabby Edmondson and freshman Abigail Veit each picked up double-digit kills.
The Catamounts fell behind 2-0 to Charleston Southern before rattling off three straight set victories including a dominating 25-9 win in the fourth to capture the 3-2 win. WCU is now a perfect 2-0 in five set matches.
Edmondson led the way with 20 kills and 16 digs while Veit added 17 kills and 17 digs. Sophomore Alyssa Zupan had eight kills and four blocks. Junior Jo-Leigh VerVelde once again surpassed her career-high in assists with 49 while also tallying 22 digs and a team-high six blocks including a career-high three solo stops.
Freshman Aleah Keaton made her WCU debut and did not disappoint with six kills and three blocks in just three sets of action.
The Catamounts dropped the opening two sets 25-20 and 25-19 before rattling off three victories in a row at 25-20, 25-9 and 15-10.
The match against Tennessee Tech began much like the Charleston Southern match as the Catamounts fell behind 2-0. WCU looked to turn the corner after the 10 minute intermission and won the third set 25-23 but the Golden Eagles were able to take the victory in the fourth set by a score of 25-21.
Junior Alyssa Zupan had a career-high 17 kills in the loss while adding five blocks and six digs. Sophomore Moea Osbey and junior Katie O'Connor each added eight kills while Edmondson had seven. O'Connor had a team-high tying six blocks while Osbey added three.
Keaton tied O'Connor for the team lead in blocks with six but she had two solo stops and four block assists while all six of O'Connor's were on assists.
Sanchez once again led the team in digs with 25 while VerVelde added 13 to go along with her 41 assists.
The Catamounts will now turn their attention to the USF Classic in Tampa, Fla. WCU will play four matches Sept. 2-3 against USF, Georgetown, Florida Atlantic and New Mexico.