HONOLULU, Hawai'i - Western Carolina volleyball’s second match of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic pitted the Catamounts against the 22nd-ranked Utes from the University of Utah. With the support of the Western Carolina football team, who attended the Friday night contest, the Catamount volleyball team gave the Utes a tough match falling in straight-sets but keeping each set close until the end.
Utah opened the match with a 25-20 victory but WCU trailed by just one, 16-15, midway through the period. The second set saw the Utes jump out to a 21-8 lead but the Catamounts would make a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to 24-18 before Utah took the set, 25-18. The Catamounts held the lead throughout the third set but a late 7-2 run by the Utes gave Utah a 25-22 set and match win.
Sophomore Abigail Veit, freshman Gabby Gray and senior Katie O’Connor led the way for WCU as the trio combined for 24 of WCU’s 34 kills. Veit put down nine kills while digging up five balls in the match. Gray turned in eight kills, a pair of service aces and three digs while O’Connor had seven kills and a team-high three blocks.
Freshman Hannah Price continued to fill in for injured senior Jo-Leigh VerVelde at setter as she passed out 26 assists while leading the team with eight digs. She also had a pair of blocks in the contest. Freshman Caroline Perret and sophomore Meagan Sanchez each finished with seven digs.
The Utes had three hitters reach double-figure kills led by Adora Anae who had a match-high 13. Utah hit .337 as a team while holding the Catamounts to a .146 hitting percentage.
The Catamounts will close out the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic Saturday evening against South Dakota at 7 pm (EST)/1 pm (HAST).