Charleston, S.C. – Sophomore Merry Gebel had a match-high 17 kills as Western Carolina rebounded to take the season series against The Citadel thanks to a 3-1 victory at McAlister Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon. The Catamounts won by scores of 25-27, 25-22, 25-19 and 25-21.
WCU improves to 17-10 overall and 11-3 in the Southern Conference while The Citadel drops to 10-17 and 4-10.
Gebel had her team-leading 15th double-double of 2019, adding 10 digs to her 17 kills. Senior Abigail Veit recorded her 13th double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs. Haley Multerer also finished in double figures with 10 kills while Meagan Sanchez posted a match-high 32 digs and Caroline Perret finished with 13 digs. Hannah Price dished out 47 assists.
Mellanie King led the Bulldogs with 12 kills followed by Makaya Middleton and Sharlissa De Jesus both with 10. Emma Strong had a team-best 19 digs.
The opening set featured six ties and two lead changes. WCU jumped out to a 9-5 lead following a Gebel kill and led until the Bulldogs tied the set at 23 after a Catamount error. The teams traded the ensuing four points before the Bulldogs took set point on a King kill and clinched the set after a Catamount error.
With the early momentum, The Citadel took the first three points of the second set before WCU rallied for a 7-5 lead after scoring five straight points. The Catamounts pulled ahead 11-6 on a block by Price and MaKenzie White before Maddy Cardenas tied the set at 12 with a service ace. A Price kill broke a 22-all tie as the Catamounts tied the match with a second set win, 25-22.
In the third set, The Citadel raced out to a 6-2 lead and led 14-10 following a WCU error. A White kill sparked a 6-0 WCU run as the Catamounts led for the remainder of the frame.
With the fourth set tied at 14, a Veit kill opened a 6-0 run as the visitors led by no fewer than three points for the rest of the stanza. A kill by Gebel clinched the match for WCU.
Western Carolina travels to ETSU on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for its final road match of the 2019 season, returning home Friday for Senior Night looking to avenge its early-season road loss to the Samford Bulldogs. WCU will honor its three seniors – Aleah Keaton, Meagan Sanchez, and Abigail Veit – in a special pregame ceremony. Match time on Friday night is 6 p.m. in the Ramsey Center.
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