Greenville, S.C. – Sophomore Merry Gebel and senior Abigail Veit both had a career-high 24 kills as Western Carolina outlasted Furman 3-2 in Southern Conference action Saturday night at Alley Gymnasium. The Catamounts won by scores of 19-25, 25-16, 25-16, 26-28 and 15-12.
WCU is 8-7 overall and 2-0 in league play after its sixth straight victory. Furman drops to 0-13 and 0-2.
Gebel surpassed her previous career best of 23 kills accomplished on Oct. 24, 2018 at UNCG while Veit bested her previous top mark of 20, accomplished on two occasions this season. Both Gebel and Veit posted double-doubles with 14 and 13 digs, respectively. Senior Meagan Sanchez had a match-high 30 digs while junior Hannah Price dished out 51 assists.
Courtney Hoffman and Neci Harris both had 17 kills to lead the Furman attack. Nichole Mack had a double-double with 16 kills and 14 digs.
The Paladins opened the match on an 8-2 run before a Gebel block brought the Catamounts within four, 12-8. Furman answered with six of the next eight points for an 18-10 lead and maintained an advantage of at least five points for the remainder of the set.
After the Paladins opened the second set with a 3-1 advantage, Western Carolina answered with a 12-3 run for a 13-6 lead following a Price kill. A Furman block trimmed the WCU lead to four, 20-16, before the Catamounts claimed the set with five straight points.
A Gebel kill sparked a 5-0 run in the third set as the Catamounts broke a 9-9 tie to lead 14-9. After a Mack kill brought the hosts within three, 16-13, WCU scored four straight points for a 20-13 advantage and led by no fewer than six points the rest of the set.
The fourth set featured 12 lead changes and 17 ties. The Paladins forced a fifth set after a Catamount error and a Harris kill.
Furman led the fifth set 12-9 after a Courtney Hoffman kill before a Veit kill began a 6-0 run that clinched the match for WCU.
Western Carolina remains on the road next weekend, traveling to Mercer on Friday and Chattanooga on Saturday in a pair of 6 p.m. matches.
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