GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Western Carolina volleyball team dropped a highly competitive match at UNCG Wednesday night, 3-1. The Catamounts held leads in every set but the Spartans were able to pull away at the end for the victory. Freshmen Aleah Keaton continued her strong play of late as she led the Catamounts with 12 kills and five blocks. Fellow freshman Abigail Veit added 11 kills to the Catamount attack while digging up 13 Spartan attacks.
Junior Katie O’Connor came up just short of double-figure kills with nine while posting a pair of blocks. Three Catamounts tallied two service aces a piece including Veit, sophomore Alyssa Zupan and junior Jo-Leigh VerVelde while the Spartans were held to zero service aces.
The Spartans won the first, third and fourth sets by scores of 25-22, 25-22 and 25-19. WCU took the second set 25-23.
The loss drops WCU’s record to 10-17 overall and 5-9 in SoCon action while the Spartans improved to 16-11 overall and 10-4 in league play.
UNCG jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set but WCU was able to reel the Spartans back in to tie the set at six. The period would remain close until a 7-3 run by the Spartans opened up a four point lead for the home squad. The Catamounts once again battled back and tied the set at 18 off a kill from O’Connor. A 5-1 run a couple points later would give UNCG its first set point of the evening. WCU battled off two set points before a kill by Alexis Mourier ended the period, 25-22.
The second set was tight throughout but a 4-0 run by the Catamounts late opened up a two point advantage for WCU which they would hold onto the rest of the way. A block by Zupan and Keaton would end the set 25-23.
The third set was once again close throughout but with the score in the Spartans favor 22-21 late in the set, UNCG used two kills by Ashley Muench and a WCU service error to clinch the set 25-22.
WCU jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the fourth and final set and maintained a lead until a kill by Allison Penner gave UNCG a 12-11 advantage. The Spartans would hold the lead or be tied the rest of the way as they pulled away for a 25-19 victory.
WCU will now travel to Macon, Ga., to take on Mercer at 2 pm Friday afternoon.