GREENVILLE, S.C. - Senior Katie O’Connor led the Western Carolina volleyball team’s attack Friday night but the Paladins of Furman University seized the 3-1 victory in Greenville. O’Connor had 10 kills and five blocks including three solo stops in the loss.
The Paladins improved to a league-best 5-0 conference mark while the overall record moved to 11-7. The Catamounts dropped to 6-12 on the year and 1-4 in league action.
O’Connor was efficient Friday night as she picked up her 10 kills on just 18 swings while compiling a .556 attack percentage. Sophomore Aleah Keaton came in just behind with eight kills on 21 swings while also adding three block assists.
Senior Jo-Leigh VerVelde, who returned to her setter/hitter role Friday night, and sophomore Abigail Veit finished with seven kills each. VerVedle added 20 assists, five digs and a pair of blocks while Veit had eight digs.
The freshmen duo of Gabby Gray and MaKenzie White each added six kills to the effort. Freshman Hannah Price spilt time at setter with VerVelde and had 17 assists, two service aces and three digs. Sophomore libero Meagan Sanchez dug up 11 balls to lead the squad.
The Catamounts hit at a .200 averaged as a team while the Paladin swung at a .336 average.
Furman was led by Jamila Johnson who had 20 kills and 10 digs. Nicole Mack (16), Courtney Hoffman (13) and Gabby Howard (13) all added double-digit kills while Hunter Thompson dished out 54 assists and had 14 digs.
Furman pounced on the Catamounts early as the Paladins took a 25-14 victory in the opening set. WCU returned to capture the second set at 25-20 before Furman closed out the contest with 25-16 and 25-22 set victories.
The Catamounts will return to action Saturday night as they travel to Wofford for a 7 pm conference match.