Sept. 20, 2013
Columbia, S.C. - Behind a high-powered, efficient offense South Carolina handed the Western Carolina volleyball team a 3-0 loss Friday night in the Catamounts' opening match of the Carolina Classic hosted by the Gamecocks.
South Carolina ended the match with a .316 hitting percentage tying the highest attack percentage by a WCU opponent. They had 53 kills on 117 attempts and 16 errors in the match. The Gamecocks limited the Catamounts to a .142 hitting percentage - 30 kills, 120 attempts and 13 errors. South Carolina also out blocked Western Carolina with six total team blocks compared to three.
South Carolina was the first team to take a lead of more than a point, 9-7, in the first set but Western Carolina fought back and tied the set at 10 on a South Carolina attack error. However, South Carolina retook control of the set with a 3-0 run as the Gamecocks took a 13-10 lead. The Gamecocks went on to extend the lead and win the opening set 25-18. South Carolina hit .308 compared to .158 for WCU.
Senior Addy George led WCU offensively with nine kills and .381 hitting percentage. Junior Timmermann followed with eight kills. George also had two solo blocks to lead the Catamounts at the net. Sophomore Cristina Nazario handed out 20 assists playing in front of her hometown crowd.
Junior Caitlin Piechota picked up a team-high 11 digs, while junior Paige McConlogue followed with 10 digs. Morgan Cochran, who leads the NCAA with 6.38 digs per set, saw personal best streak of 19 consecutive matches came to a close Friday. The senior had nine digs. WCU had 43 digs in the match its lowest total of the season.
In the second set, the Gamecocks jumped out to an early 12-4 lead, but the Catamounts weathered the early storm and battled back to cut the South Carolina lead down to two points, 16-14. South Carolina responded with a 5-0 run to take a six point lead, 21-14, en route to a 25-18 set win. The Gamecocks again held a considerable margin in hitting percentage, .359 to .098. South Carolina also had four team blocks in the set.
South Carolina broke a tie at six in the third set with a 4-0 run as the Gamecocks took a 10-6 lead. WCU used a kill by Jordan Timmermann, a kill by Hailey Cook, who made her collegiate debut, and a solo block by Addy George to pull within one point, 10-9, but South Carolina extended its lead to five points, 17-12, with a 7-3 run. Trailing 19-13, the Catamounts fought back with a 3-0 run to trim the Gamecock lead to 19-16, and eventually cut the lead down to two points, 21-19, following a South Carolina attack error. However, the Gamecocks closed out the set, 25-19, with the final four points to earn the match sweep.
Western Carolina (8-4) finishes the Carolina Classic Saturday with two matches. WCU starts the day with Presbyterian at 10 a.m. before concluding the tournament with Robert Morris at 4 p.m.
Fans can keep track of the Catamount Athletics through social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Twitter (@catamounts), YouTube (CatamountSports) and Instagram (wcu_catamounts). Additionally, CatamountSports.com will be updated throughout the 2013-14 athletic year.