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Notes from Wednesday's Coaches' Luncheon

Oct. 24, 2007

CULLOWEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina athletic department hosted its second Coaches Luncheon of the season with this week's slate including Head Football Coach Kent Briggs, cross country Head Coach Danny Williamson and Head Volleyball Coach Stephanie Dragan.

Williamson spoke about the upcoming Southern Conference Cross Country Championships Western Carolina will be hosting Saturday. The event takes place on the WCU campus with the women running a 5K race and the men running an 8K race. The runners will complete the course inside the Catamount Soccer Complex so fans can see every exciting finish of the race. The women begin at 10 a.m. and the men will begin their race at approximately 10:45 a.m.

Western Carolina volleyball hosts one of four remaining home matches today and that was the main topic of conversation for Dragan. She talked about the importance of the match with Wofford as only the top eight teams get an invitation to the Southern Conference Volleyball Tournament. The Catamounts are currently ranked 10th and the Terriers are ninth. A Western Carolina win would give the club three conference wins and move them up a spot, just behind the coveted eighth spot. The Catamounts would then have to pass Davidson who has four conference wins.

Dragan also brought along two of her players to speak to the group attending the luncheon. She introduced freshman Ali Rook and sophomore Liz Rondone. Rook explained the transition from high school to collegiate volleyball and the demands of a student-athlete. Rondone enlightened the crowd on what the duties of a libero are and why she gets to wear a different jersey.

Briggs closed out the luncheon with a chalk talk about the game last weekend with The Citadel and the upcoming ESPN U game with Wofford. The Catamount's game with the Terriers kicks off at 7:34 p.m. Thursday at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.

This marks the 30th meeting all-time between the Catamounts and the Terriers. Wofford leads the all-time series, 17-12, and has won four of the last five - and eight of the last 10 - overall. However, Western's last win over Wofford was a historic one as the Catamounts blanked Wofford, 24-0, in its last visit to Cullowhee in 2005 marking the first time the Terriers had been shutout in Southern Conference play. Western has won nine of the 15 games played in Cullowhee including an 8-4 mark at E.J. Whitmire Stadium. The overall series, which dates back to 1952, has been dominated by runs.

Playing under the lights during the week is nothing new to Western Carolina. Dating back to 1988, Western has played six times on Thursday - all in Cullowhee - compiling a perfect 6-0 record ... The Catamounts played their first Thursday night home game on September 15, 1988 defeating East Tennessee State, 33-23. The Catamounts' most recent triumph on Thursday came in the 2006 season-opener, a 42- 0 thrashing of Chowan ... WCU has outscored its opponents 255-51 in Thursday night games and had two shutouts (Chowan and Mars Hill).

Next Wednesday, October 31, the luncheon will feature Head Men's Basketball Coach Larry Hunter and Head Women's Basketball Coach Kellie Harper. They will talk about their respective exhibition games. Men's basketball hosts Milligan at 7:03 p.m. that night and women's basketball hosts Carson-Newman Thursday November 1 at 7:03 p.m.

The luncheon, catered by Aramark, will feature a buffet-style lunch beginning at 11:45 am and will last until approximately 1:00 pm. Head coaches from WCU's athletic programs will be the keynote speakers at each event offering insight into their seasons and "X's and O's" from their respective sport, as well as answering questions from those in attendance.

There is an open invitation to everyone in the surrounding communities, but an RSVP is requested by the Friday prior to the next event to allow proper preparations to be made. The cost of the luncheon is $7.00 per person. The series will continue through mid-November before reconvening in January amidst basketball season.

For more information about the Catamount Head Coaches' Luncheons, please contact Kim Jamison in the Western Carolina Athletics Department at (828) 227-7338 or via E-mail at