Sep 6, 2013
Memphis, Tenn. - The Western Carolina volleyball team picked up two wins with a 3-0 sweep of Southeastern Louisiana and a 3-2 upset win over tournament host on day one of the Memphis Invitational to earn the programs second win over a team from the a BCS conference this season, a feat that has not been accomplished in 26 years.
With the WCU (5-1) win over Memphis out of the American Athletic Conference, the Catamounts picked up their second win over a team from a BCS after defeating Boston College on August 30. It is the first time since Western Carolina defeated Georgia Tech twice in 1987 that the Catamounts earned two wins in the same season over teams from a BCS conference. In 1986, Western Carolina beat two teams from the ACC, Georgia Tech and Clemson, earning two wins over two different teams in the same sesason.
In match two against Memphis, WCU took an early 8-4 lead, but Memphis came back to take a 14-12 lead. The Catamounts pulled even at 16 on a Ford block, but the Tigers went on a 6-1 run to take control of the set en route to a 25-18 opening set win.
The Catamounts again took an early lead in the second set, 7-5, only to see the Tigers tie the set at eight. Neither team could break way until Memphis extended a 14-13 lead into an 18-14 lead on three kills, a service ace and a Western Carolina attack error. WCU stayed within striking distance and tied the set at 20 after overcoming a 20-17 deficit. Kills by Caitlin Piechota and Addy George and a solo block by George sparked the comeback. Memphis took a two-point lead only to see WCU retie the set at 23 following kills by Nicole Ford and Jordan Timmermann. However, the Tigers earned the final two points on kills to take a 2-0 lead with the 25-23 set win.
For the third time, WCU held an early lead, 8-3, and opened the margin up to seven points, 11-4. The Catamounts pushed the gap to as far as eight points, 16-8, only to have the Tigers claw back into the set with an 8-2 run to pull within two points, 18-16. But, WCU answered and extended the lead out to four points, 20-16, on a kill by Piechota and a Memphis attack error. Western Carolina kept the match alive with 25-22 set win.
Continuing the trend, the Catamounts held the lead early, 10-6, and keeping with the same trend, the Tigers crawled back with a 7-1 run to take a 13-11 lead. WCU responded with a run of their own, 5-1, to take a 16-14 lead sparked by kills from Cristina Nazario, Ford and Timmermann. Western Carolina maintained the lead as the Cats took the fourth set 25-21 to force a fifth and decisive set. Timely kills from Piechota down the stretch of the fourth set helped secure win.
In the final set, WCU turned a 3-1 deficit into an 8-4 lead. After changing sides, Memphis took advantage of two errors by Western Carolina and a Tiger kill to trim the Catamount lead down to one point, 8-7, and force a WCU timeout. Coming out of the timeout, a Timmermann kill gave the Catamounts a 9-7 lead, but the Tigers pulled even at nine after a kill and a WCU hitting error. The teams traded the next six points, until the WCU used two Memphis attack errors to take a 14-12 lead. Memphis fought off two match points to tie the score at 14. WCU earned another match point on a kill by George and secured the set and the match with on an attack error for the 16-14 set win.
Western Carolina had 70 team kills compared to 55 for Memphis, and the Catamounts held the advantage at the net with 11 total team blocks compared to seven for the Tigers.
Morgan Cochran collected 30 digs, the first time this season she eclipsed the 30-dig mark and fifth time in her Catamount career. Timmermann had 15 kills to lead WCU offensively; she also added 14 digs for a double-double. George followed with 13 kills, a .333 hitting percentage and seven total blocks, two solo and five block assists. Piechota picked up her second double-double of the day with 12 kills and 14 digs. Nazario passed out 46 assists, while Paige McConlogue earned her eighth 20-plus dig match with 22 digs.
In the opening match against Southeastern Louisiana, Western Carolina was led by Brandi Anderson's career day. She turned in career-highs in kills (10), attacks (23), hitting percentage (.304), block assists (five) and total blocks (five). Piechota and Nazario each had double-doubles in the win. Piechota had 10 kills and 10 digs tying Anderson for the team lead, while Nazario handed out 35 assists and picked up 10 digs. Ford also recorded five total blocks on five block assists tying Anderson for the team lead, while Cochran picked up 20 digs. George had six kills on 14 swings with no errors for a .429 hitting percentage.
WCU flipped an 11-8 deficit into a 14-11 on four attack errors and a service error by Southeastern. The Lions pulled within one point, 16-15, but Western Carolina used a 9-2 run to earn the set one win, 25-17. The Cats hit .359 compared to .064 for the Lions.
In set two, the two teams went back and forth until Western Carolina pulled ahead with a 14-10 lead following kill by Anderson. WCU held the four-point lead, until Southeastern trimmed the lead to 20-19 and eventually tied the set 21. After trading points, the Catamounts broke a tie at 23 with block by Piechota and Ford, before claiming the 25-23 set two win on a Lion setting error.
Set three followed a similar pattern as the Catamounts again took a 14-10 lead only to see it disappear when the Lions pulled even at 19. After trading the next four points, Southeastern broke at tie at 21 with a kill and an attack error to take a 23-21 lead. WCU sparked the comeback, a 4-0 run, with a block by Ford and Anderson en route to a 25-23 set three win.
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Match One Notes
- Anderson recorded career-highs in kills (10), attacks (23), hitting percentage (.304), block assists (five) and total blocks (five).
Match Two Notes
- The Catamounts have only earned two wins over a team from a BCS conference in the consecutive season four times since joining the Southern Conference in 1983.
- After two matches with 20 or more digs, Cochran now has 34 matches 20-plus digs in her career.
- Dating back to the 2012 season, Cochran has recorded double-digit digs in 14 consecutive matches. She has a career-long of 18 straight from the 2011 season.
- After back-to-back double-doubles, Piechota has recorded four double-doubles in six matches. She now has three straight double-doubles and 29 career double-doubles.
- Timmermann earned her second double-double of the season and 15th of her career. - McConlogue earned her eighth career 20-plus dig match.