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Johnson City, Tenn. – Merry Gebel led the Western Carolina volleyball team with 14 kills as the Catamounts dropped a 3-0 decision at ETSU on Wednesday evening inside Brooks Gym. The Buccaneers won the match by scores of 25-19, 25-20 and 25-21.

ETSU improves to 19-5 overall and 8-1 in the Southern Conference while Western Carolina drops to 10-10 and 4-5.

Gebel finished in double figures in kills for the 11th time this season. Meagan Sanchez tallied 14 digs, followed by Caroline Perret with 10. Hannah Price had a team-best 18 assists, followed by Sydney Carlson with 12.

Leah Clayton led the Buccaneers with 13 kills. Marija Popovic had a team-leading 16 digs, while Mariah McPartland recorded seven blocks. Alyssa Kvarta had a match-high 38 assists.

The Catamounts enjoyed a 9-5 lead in the first set following an ETSU attack error. ETSU took a 12-10 lead on an AJ Lux kill but the Catamounts pulled to within a point, 20-19, following a kill by Abigail Veit. ETSU would win the next five points to claim the set.

A bad set by the Catamounts gave ETSU a 9-5 advantage in the second set. Western Carolina cut the Buccaneer lead to 16-15 after a Gebel kill but ETSU answered three straight points and led by no fewer than that margin for the rest of the frame.

The third set featured five lead changes and 14 tie scores. An ETSU error followed by consecutive Veit kills gave the Catamounts an 11-7 advantage. ETSU tied the set at 11 on a Hailey Aguilar service ace. The Buccaneers broke a 20-20 tie with four straight points and ended the match on a Braedyn Tutton kill.

Western Carolina returns to the Ramsey Center on Friday, hosting The Citadel at 6 p.m. before welcoming Mercer on Sunday for Senior Day at 2 p.m.

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