CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina volleyball team fell 3-0 Friday night to kickoff homecoming weekend in Cullowhee. The visiting UNCG Spartans endured a back-and-forth first set in route to a 3-0 sweep over the Catamounts. WCU saw the return of junior Gabby Edmondson who was limited to playing defense and produced 11 digs from the back row, just one off the team lead of 12 held by freshman libero Meagan Sanchez.
The first set featured five lead changes and 12 tie scores before the Spartans pulled away for a 25-22 victory. The second set was close much like the first set but WCU was unable to gain a lead at any point during the action and fell 25-23. The third set was all UNCG as the Spartans claimed a convincing 25-18 victory.
The loss drops WCU's record to 8-16 overall and 3-8 in Southern Conference play. The Spartans improved to 13-10 overall and 7-3 in league action.
Freshman Abigail Veit led the Catamounts on offense with 10 kills while also picking up eight digs and a pair of service aces which came on back-to-back serves in the second set. Junior Katie O'Connor chipped in nine kills and a block assist while sophomore Alyssa Zupan captured eight kills, nine digs and two block assists.
The Spartans were led by Ashley Muench who had 16 kills, eight digs and a pair of solo blocks. Alexis Mourier added nine kills while Jasmine Jones had eight.
The Catamounts will not have very long to reflect on the loss as they welcome in defending Southern Conference Tournament Champions Furman Saturday at noon. The match is part of a Homecoming day doubleheader as the volleyball team takes on Furman at noon and the football team faces nationally-ranked Chattanooga at 3:30 pm.