CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina volleyball team snapped its three-match losing streak with a 3-2 victory over visiting Mercer Friday night inside the Ramsey Center. The win improves WCU’s record against the Bears to a perfect 7-0 when playing in Cullowhee. Freshman Abigail Veit led the Catamounts with 17 kills and 19 digs while also putting down a pair of service aces.
The victory improves WCU’s record to 8-12 overall and 3-4 in Southern Conference play. The Bears dropped to 10-8 overall and 2-4 in conference action.
Mercer entered the match second in the SoCon with a .221 team hitting percentage but the Catamounts came in leading the conference in opponent hitting percentage at .176. WCU was able to win the battle in hitting percentage as they held the Bears to just .098 as a squad.
Veit led the Catamounts in kills and tied for the team lead in both digs and service aces. Sophomore Moea Osbey added 11 kills and three blocks to the Catamounts attack while sophomore Alyssa Zupan had eight kills, 16 digs, five blocks and a team-high tying two service aces.
WCU dominated in blocking as the topped the Bears 16-7. Junior Katie O’Connor and freshman Aleah Keaton led the defensive effort as they both totaled seven blocks. O’Connor had a solo stop and six assists while Keaton finished with seven block assists. Junior Jo-Leigh VerVelde finished with six blocks to go along with her team-high 43 assists.
Mercer won the openings set 25-19 before WCU came back to take the second period 25-17. The third set was extremely close with the Bears squeaking out a 26-24 victory. The fourth set was all Catamounts with WCU taking a 25-17 win. The fifth set saw Mercer get out to a lead at the halfway break but WCU was able to storm back late and take a 15-13 victory.
The Catamounts will take on ETSU tomorrow, Oct. 15 at 6 pm inside the Ramsey Center in a rematch of a 3-2 ETSU victory earlier this season.