Sept. 13, 2013
Wilmington, N.C. - Led by Cristina Nazario's double-double the Western Carolina volleyball team swept Mercer 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-19) in the Catamount's opening match of the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire UNCW Volleyball Classic Friday night in Hanover Hall.
Nazario earned her third double-double of the season and seventh of her career with 24 assists and a team-high 12 digs. It was only the second time in her career the junior setter paced the team in digs in a match. Her first match as dig leader came in her first collegiate match on August 24, 2012 against Northern Kentucky when she picked up 19 digs.
WCU's middle blockers were a force a the net for the Catamounts. Junior Addy George had five total blocks, three solo and two block assists. Her three solo blocks were a career-high for the junior. Nicole Ford followed with seven total blocks, one solo and six blocks assists. WCU held a 12-4 blocking advantage. The Catamounts have held a blocking advantage in seven of their nine matches.
Offensively, junior Jordan Timmermann paved the way with 11 kills and a .286 hitting percentage. Classmate Brandi Anderson followed with seven kills, and George tallied six kills. Ford and Nazario each had five kills.
Senior Morgan Cochran continued her double-digit streak dating back to the 2012 season with 10 digs in the match. She has collected 10 or more digs 84 times her in career including all nine matches in 2013. With her ten digs Friday, Cochran, 1,671 career digs, needs just 11 digs to move into second place on the WCU career list. Recent Hall of Fame inductee Christy Attebery, sits in second with 1,682 career digs, while Liz Rondone is atop the list with 2,152 digs.
WCU broke a tie at seven in the first set with a 5-0 run to take an 11-7 lead. The Catamounts never looked back as they cruised to a 25-12 win.
With the second set tied at 10, Mercer went on a 4-1 run to take 14-11 lead, but WCU responded with 7-0 to take an 18-11 lead as the Catamounts used two blocks from Ford and Timmermann during the stretch. WCU kept control of the set en route to a 25-20 win.
WCU led wire-to-wire in a 25-19 set three win and claimed the three-set sweep.
With the win, Western Carolina improves to 7-2 on the season. The Catamounts return to the court for day two of the Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire UNCW Volleyball Classic Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. with North Carolina A&T. WCU plays host UNC-Wilmington in the tournament's final match Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
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