Aug. 24, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -
Despite the Catamounts picking up an exciting second set win that saw 15 ties and seven lead changes, Western Carolina dropped its opening season match three sets to one (20-25, 35-33, 19-25, 12-25) in front of over 100 fans in the Ramsey Center on the first night of the Western Carolina Invitational Tournament presented by Best Western Plus of Dillsboro.
Northern Kentucky was led by Haley Lippert who had 18 kills and three block assists while Kelly Morrissey and Shelby Buschur added 15 kills apiece in the Norse's second game as a member of the NCAA's Division I.
Northern Kentucky took a one set lead going into the marathon second set. Western Carolina had the set's largest lead at four with a 20-16 lead off a block by Abbey Scroggins and Leah Butler. WCU picked up its first set point off a Northern Kentucky attack error before NKU picked up two consecutive points. From there, both teams went back and forth with NKU earning seven set points to WCU's two before the Catamounts won off a Piechota kill and an NKU set error.
From there, NKU rebounded to take control of the set and the match, winning set three by a score of 25-19 and the fourth set 25-12.
Defensively, both teams accounted for 17 total blocks with WCU tallying nine. Leah Butler and Jordan Timmermann each had four blocks - including two solos - while Addy George and Abbey Scroggins notched three apiece. George also set a career high with six kills in the match. Four Catamounts went in double-figures in the dig department led by Nazario with 19, followed by junior captain Morgan Cochran with 16, and Caitlin Piechota and freshman Elyssa Mulheron both had 13.
In other tournament action, Northern Kentucky defeated St. Peter's in three sets, while St. Peter's downed North Carolina A&T in four to pick up its first win of the season.
Northern Kentucky played in its first Division I NCAA volleyball game in the opening game against St. Peter's. Lippert again led the Norse with 10 kills as Jayden Julian tallied eight kills. Buschur and Jenna Ruble picked up seven kills as the Norse won 25-9, 25-9, 25-11.
The Peacocks bounced back in the second match of the day against the Aggies of North Carolina A&T. Despite falling in the first set 19-25, the Peacocks picked up its offense being led by double-digit kills by Laura Reinhart (14), Lauren Behrens (14) and Kassi Wirth (10). Kristina Baehr dished out 44 assists in the win.
Tomorrow Western Carolina plays two matches as the host Catamounts face the Peacocks of St. Peter's at noon before facing off against in-state foe North Carolina A&T in the tournament finale at 6:30 pm. In between North Carolina A&T faces Northern Kentucky at 2:30 pm.
At the conclusion of the tournament a six person all-tournament team will be announced. All three matches tomorrow will be streamed live through Catamount All-Access while Game Tracker is also available on CatamountSports.com.