Asheville, N.C. – Western Carolina sophomore Hannah Price narrowly missed a triple-double in a 3-1 non-conference setback at UNC Asheville on Tuesday night. UNC Asheville won by scores of 25-21, 24-26. 25-23, 25-21 to improve to 5-5 while the Catamounts drop to 6-5.
Price finished her night with 26 assists, 13 digs and nine kills. Merry Gebel led the Western Carolina offense with a career-high 13 kills and tallied 13 digs for her third double-double of the season. Abigail Veit recorded 12 kills, marking the second consecutive match that she finished in double figures. Price, Aleah Keaton and MaKenzie White each finished with nine kills. Meagan Sanchez was credited with a season-high 29 digs. Haley Multerer posted a career-high four block assists while Keaton finished with two solo blocks.
Cara Guthrie led the UNC Asheville offense with a match-high 18 kills, followed by Ansley Rooks with 11 and Julia Loveday with 10. Madisen Zyburt recorded 33 digs to lead the Bulldogs, with Guthrie and Kasey West both posting 13 digs.
After trailing 15-10 in the first set, Western Carolina pulled to within a point, 21-20, following a White kill. The Bulldogs answered with four straight points and closed out the set on a Loveday kill.
The Catamounts opened the second set on a 6-2 run before a service error evened the set at 10. UNC Asheville led 23-20 before a Veit kill started a 4-0 Catamount run. UNC Asheville drew even on a service error before a Keaton kill and an attack error gave the Catamounts a 26-24 win to even the match. The set featured four lead changes and 12 tie scores.
A bad set midway through the third stanza opened a 5-0 run for the Bulldogs, giving them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the set.
A Gebel kill brought the Catamounts within two points in the fourth set, 22-20 before UNC Asheville closed out the match with three of the final four points.
Western Carolina was scheduled to travel to Wilmington, N.C. this weekend for the Hampton Inn Seahawk Invitational but that tournament has been canceled due to Hurricane Florence. The Catamounts will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 19, hosting ETSU in the Southern Conference opener at 6 p.m.