CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina volleyball team welcomed in Southern Conference leader ETSU Saturday evening for a chance to avenge a 3-2 defeat from earlier in the season. The Catamounts were off to a great start but the Buccaneers were able to steal away the opening set 25-23 after WCU led most of the way. The Bucs would go on to win two of the next three sets by a convincing margin to take a 3-1 victory in the match.
The lone set win by WCU was the first set the Bucs had dropped over the last four matches. The victory improved ETSU's record to 14-6 overall and a SoCon leading 6-2 in conference play. The Catamounts fell to 8-13 overall and 3-5 in league action.
Both teams hit above their seasonal average in an offensive-paced match. The Bucs placed three hitters in double-figures for kills while the Catamounts had two.
Sophomore Alyssa Zupan led the WCU attack with 12 kills while junior Katie O'Connor had 10. Both hit the ball well with Zupan hitting at a .243 clip and O'Connor blazing the nets at .667. Zupan finished with a double-double as she had 13 digs while O'Connor led the team with five blocks. Zupan also excelled at the net with five blocks of her own.
Freshman Abigail Veit flirted with double-figures as she finished with nine kills and 15 digs while sophomore Moea Osbey put down eight kills. Junior setter Jo-Leigh VerVelde finished with 38 assists and a team-high 16 digs. Freshman libero Meagan Sanchez chipped in with 13 digs.
Rylee Milhorn led the Buc attack with 17 kills while Briana Allmon finished with 16.
ETSU snuck out with a 25-22 victory in the first set and then dominated with a 25-16 victory in set number two. The third set went back-and-forth with WCU coming out on top 25-23 before ETSU clinched the match with a 25-12 fourth set win.
The Catamounts will now hit the road for a pair of matches at Samford (Oct. 21) and at Wofford (Oct. 22).