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Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina sophomore MaKenzie White led the Catamount offense, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win in the Southern Conference opener as the Catamounts dropped a 3-0 decision to ETSU on Wednesday evening in the Ramsey Center. ETSU won by scores of 25-23, 25-11 and 25-14.

ETSU improves to 12-3 overall and 1-0 in the SoCon while Western Carolina drops to 6-6 and 0-1.

White finished with eight kills, followed by Merry Gebel with seven and Abigail Veit with six. Meagan Sanchez recorded 12 digs. Hannah Price dished out a team-best 20 assists. Price and Caroline Perret each had a service ace.

Leah Clayton led the Bucs with 13 kills, followed by Braedyn Tutton with 10. Marija Popovic tallied a match-high 16 digs while Alyssa Kvarta had a match-best 31 assists.

ETSU jumped out to a 16-10 lead in the opening set before the Catamounts went on a 7-1 run, tying the frame at 17 on a White kill. A Clayton kill broke a 20-20 tie as the Catamounts pulled to within a point on three occasions but were unable to even the score. The first set featured three lead changes and seven tie scores.

The Bucs opened the second set on a 6-1 run before an Aleah Keaton kill brought the Catamounts within four, 8-4. Western Carolina would get no closer for the remainder of the set as ETSU claimed a 2-0 lead.

A Haley Multerer kill opened the third set before the ETSU pulled ahead 12-5 thanks to a Tutton kill. A Gebel kill brought the Catamounts within five, 15-10, but they would get no closer the rest of the set as a McPartland kill ended the match.

Western Carolina travels to Mercer on Friday at 6 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend at The Citadel on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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