GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Western Carolina volleyball team traveled to Greenville, S.C., to face defending Southern Conference Tournament Champions Furman Friday night a dropped a close 3-0 match to the Paladins. WCU held leads in all three sets but the Paladins were able to pull away late in each period to gain the sweep victory.
The loss drops Western Carolina’s record to 6-9 overall and 1-1 in SoCon play while the Paladins improved to 7-8 overall and a perfect 3-0 in conference action.
Sophomore Alyssa Zupan led all hitters as she had a match-high 11 kills on 27 swings with just three errors. She added five digs and five block assists on the defensive side of the ball. Junior Katie O’Connor and freshman Abigail Veit each had seven kills in the match. Veit added a team-high 12 digs while O’Connor had three blocks.
Junior setter Jo-Leigh VerVelde had 30 assists over the three sets and eight digs.
WCU hit .170 as a team while the Paladins swung at a .209 clip. The Catamounts out-blocked the Paladins 10-6 while Furman won the dig battle 51-41.
WCU and Furman went back-and-forth early in the opening set but a 7-2 run by the Catamounts midway through the set opened up a 17-13 advantage for WCU. The Paladins quickly responded with a 12-3 run of their own to take the opening set 25-20 over the Catamounts.
The second set saw the Catamounts jump out to an 8-4 lead early in the set. WCU would hang onto its lead until the Paladins took a 17-16 lead late in the set. Both teams went back-and-forth over the next several points until three-straight from the Paladins ended the set 25-22 in Furman’s favor.
The Paladins were the ones to jump out early in the third set as Furman took an 8-4 lead. WCU quickly responded taking a 11-9 lead. The set would remain within two points or less until a 6-2 run opened up a 23-19 lead for the Paladins late in the period. WCU and Furman traded the next four points giving the Paladins a 25-21 victory.
WCU will have a short turnaround as the Catamounts host Samford Saturday, Oct. 1 at noon inside the Ramsey Center.