Sept. 7, 2010
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CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Sophomore Amanda Chaparro posted a career-high 21 kills to lead the Western Carolina volleyball team over South Carolina State, 3-2, on Tuesday night at the Ramsey Center.
The Catamounts (3-4) won the first two sets (25-13, 25-23) before dropping the next two (26-24, 25-21). WCU went on to win the fifth set, 15-9.
WCU jumped out to an early 14-5 lead in the first set, causing the Bulldogs (1-7) to burn a timeout and regroup. S.C. State battled back to bring the match within six (17-11) before the Catamounts took advantage of three Bulldog miscues and kills by Chaparro and sophomore Abbey Scroggins to push the WCU lead to 11 (22-11). After two WCU attacking errors made the score 22-13, the Catamounts rattled off three points to win the set off another Chaparro kill and two Bulldog attacking errors.
The Catamounts jumped to their largest lead (19-11) of the second set before S.C. State used a 7-1 run to bring the set within two (20-18). After a Carrie Minogue kill and a Chaparro service ace pushed the WCU lead to four (22-18), the Bulldogs responded by going on a 5-1 run to tie the match at 23 and cause WCU to use a timeout. A Kelcie Randazzo kill made the score 24-23 before freshman Leah Best and Scroggins paired for a block on an attack by S.C. State's Elizabeth Webb to win the set.
Set three again saw the Catamounts with a lead midway through the match as they had their largest lead of the set at 17-11. S.C. State went on a 5-1 run to bring the match to 18-16 in favor of WCU. After a Chaparro kill made the score 19-16, the Bulldogs used a kill by Jarne Gleaton and five Catamount errors to take a 22-19 lead. WCU bounced back from the Bulldog offensive attack by going on a 4-1 run to tie the set at 23 all. After the two teams exchanged leads again to tie the set at 24, the Bulldogs got back-to-back kills from Webb and Shabree Roberson to win their first set of the evening.
The fourth set saw the Catamounts and Bulldogs exchange leads five times before the set's final tie at 21. S.C. State never looked back as they scored the final four points of the set on three kills by Desire Waller and a kill by Webb, tying the match at two sets all.
"When the game is on the line we need to take over," said Western Carolina head coach Manuel Concepcion. "We are not taking over and are getting too relaxed. When the games are tied we don't know how to make the right decisions, and that might because we are playing a young roster. We need to improve this before conference play."
After losing the first point of the fifth set, the Catamounts never trailed the rest of the set as they jumped out to an early 8-4 lead on five Bulldog errors, two kills by Chaparro and a kill by Minogue. WCU pushed its lead to seven (13-6) before S.C. State rallied back to get within four (13-9) on three Catamount miscues. Alvarez and Minogue registered back-to-back kills to win the set, giving WCU its third win of the season.
Chaparro led a balanced Catamount offense with a career-high and match-high 21 kills. Alvarez recorded 15 kills, the second best outing of her career with the Purple and Gold. Minogue posted a .286 attack percentage with 12 kills.
"We have been doing well in balancing the offense and our setters have done a great job of placing the ball," said Concepcion.
Randazzo also had a career night with a 43 assists. The Orange County, Calif., native chipped in five kills and a team-high 18 digs.
"It is amazing to me that we recruited Kelcie to play outside hitter and she has become our main setter," said Concepcion. "She has done an excellent job and is putting in a lot of extra time on her own behind the scenes to get to where she is this season."
Defensively, Sara Gantt added 13 digs on the night while Alvarez and Chaparro recorded 12 and 11 digs, respectively. At the net, Best had a match-high four blocks while Minogue chipped in three blocks.
"Our defense in the back row did great," said Concepcion. "Our height also affected the opponent tonight. Having Leah Best in the middle or on the right side always changes the strategy of the opponent and we like that. I also like the effectiveness Carrie Minogue brings every time we play, she has been our most consistent player this year."
The Catamounts hit the road again this weekend, participating at the Evansville Tournament on Sept. 10-11 in Evansville, Ind. WCU will face host Evansville, Murry State and Loyola (Ill.) at the two-day tournament before returning home for nine consecutive home matches.