Aug. 25, 2012
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CULLOWHEE, N.C. -
Western Carolina volleyball bounced back from a 3-1 loss to Northern Kentucky Friday night in the first night of the Western Carolina Invitational Tournament presented by Best Western Plus of Dillsboro by cruising to a sweep of St. Peter's (25-17, 25-16, 25-14) and North Carolina A&T (25-9, 25-12, 25-21). WCU placed two on the all-tournament team in sophomores Caitlin Piechota and Jordan Timmermann.
“It was good to start off the morning strong so that we could try out some different line ups,” said head coach Karen Glover.
“We had strong performances from Caitlin Piechota. Freshman Nicole Ford also did a great job in the middle today.”
In match one, Piechota continued her solid offensive weekend with a career-high 19 kills to go along with the 13 she totaled against NKU a night ago to even Western Carolina’s overall record at 1-1. Ford notched nine kills and four digs for the Catamounts as junior captain Morgan Cochran led the team in digs with 17. Cochran has led WCU in digs both years of her career in the Purple and Gold. She also picked up two service aces.
Transfer senior Cayla Crawley saw significant playing time as the Bryson City product added to the Catamount defensive effort with 9 digs. Sophomore Addy George was again a strong presence in the middle as she had three blocks.
In the second match of the day against North Carolina A&T, the Catamounts quickly gained control of the tempo of the match. The Catamounts jumped out to a 13-2 advantage before taking the first set behind the offensive efforts of Caitlin Piechota, who opened up the first set with 7 kills, hitting .500. Piechota finished with 14 kills to go along with the career-high 19 from the first match of the day to earn all-tournament honors. The Catamounts picked up their second sweep of the day with a 3-0 win over the Aggies (25-9, 25-12, 25-21) in the finale of the Western Carolina Invitational Tournament presented by Best Western Plus of Dillsboro.
Sophomore Jordan Timmermann was also named to the all-tournament team as she posted 12 kills, three digs and two blocks.
“Overall, I was pleased with our performance at this tournament,” said head coach Karen Glover.
“Caitlin Piechota had a really strong tournament. Our other outside, Jordan Timmermann, also performed well. We saw some good things out of our middles and are really pleased with how Tina Nazario has stepped up in the setter position.”
WCU quickly won sets one and two before the Aggies came out of the gates with renewed energy after the break to 3-0 lead, the Aggies largest of the match, before the Catamounts would fight back to tie the match at five. Neither team would gain a lead larger than three in the set, with both teams knotting up the match 11 times with five lead changes.
With the match tied at 20, the Catamounts went on a 3-0 run before finishing the set and the match with a block by Timmermann and classmate Addy George.
Timmermann and Piechota were the only Catamounts with double digit kills, but senior captain Abbey Scroggins tallied seven in the win. Sophomore Leah Butler reached a career high in kills with four, with three of them coming in the second set. Morgan Cochran picked up a season-high 21 digs.
Western Carolina finished the tournament 2-1, beginning the season with two wins out of three for the first time since 2001. Northern Kentucky was perfect over the weekend at 3-0, with St. Peter’s finishing 1-2. North Carolina A&T was 0-3.
The Catamounts now go on an 11-match road swing, including three tournaments, before coming back to the Ramsey Center on Sept. 18 to face Gardner-Webb. WCU travels to Athens, Ohio next weekend for the Ohio University Invitational, meeting the Oregon Ducks on Aug. 31 at 4:00 pm.
Western Carolina University Invitational Tournament All-Tournament Team
Haley Lippert – Northern Kentucky University – Tournament MVP
Jenna Schreiver – Northern Kentucky University
Caitlin Piechota – Western Carolina University
Jordan Timmermann – Western Carolina University
Laura Reinhart – St. Peter’s University
Brooke Stamnes – North Carolina A&T