CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina volleyball team returned to the Ramsey Center Wednesday night as the Catamounts battled the visiting Spartans of UNCG. The match marks the first of four-straight home contests for WCU over the next two weeks. WCU battled hard with UNCG and held leads in all three sets but the Spartans took home the victory 3-0.
Senior Katie O’Connor led the Western Carolina squad with nine kills and a pair of blocks. Freshman Gabby Gray added six kills, three digs and a pair of blocks. Freshman MaKenzie White and sophomore Aleah Keaton each had five kills in the contest. White added a solo block and two digs while Keaton had two blocks and a dig.
Senior Jo-Leigh VerVelde and freshman Hannah Price once again split time at setter which gave VerVelde the opportunity to spend time at outside hitter. VerVelde finished with 18 assists, eight digs, three kills and a block. Price turned in a double-double with 13 assists and a team-high 17 digs.
Sophomore libero Meagan Sanchez chipped in 14 digs and a kill.
The loss drops WCU to 6-14 overall and 1-6 in league action while the Spartans improved to 10-9 this season and 3-4 in SoCon play.
UNCG was led by Ashley Muench who had 15 kills and 18 digs to lead UNCG in both categories. Muench was the only hitter on either team to reach double-figure kills.
WCU held the early advantage in the opening set and maintained that lead throughout the period. With the Catamounts leading 22-20, the Spartans began a 5-1 run to close out the set and take the early advantage.
The Catamounts jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the second set but a 4-0 run by UNCG quickly cut the lead to just two. WCU would build its lead to six at 16-10 but another UNCG run eventually knotted the set at 19. The Spartans continued to move forward and two a 21-19 lead. WCU tried to fight back but a kill from Muench ended the set at 25-22.
The third set was back-and-forth early until UNCG used a 9-4 run to open up a 17-12 lead midway through the period. The Spartans would not look back as they cruised to the 25-14 victory.
The Catamounts will return to action this Saturday, Oct. 14 at noon as they host The Citadel.