Oct. 13, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Despite double-doubles from junior outside hitters Jordan Timmermann and Caitlin Piechota, the Western Carolina volleyball team could not overcome Furman's offense as the Catamounts suffered a 3-1 (21-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-21) setback Sunday afternoon in a Southern Conference showdown in the Ramsey Center.
The Paladins had four players with 15 or more kills as they produced 72 total kills, the second most given up by the Catamounts this season, and .237 team hitting percentage. WCU only had two players in double-figures as the Catamounts managed only 48 kills on 171 swings with 15 errors for a.193 hitting percentage. Furman also held an advantage in digs, 97-79, as the Catamount attack could not come up with the big kill during play. WCU did hold the edge in team blocks, 8.5-6.
The showdown broke a tie atop the SoCon standing with Furman improving to 9-8 overall and 5-1 in the SoCon, while WCU suffers it second-straight conference loss and slips to 14-6 and 4-2.
Timmermann led the team in kills for the second time this weekend and seventh time this season with 13 kills. She earned her fifth double-double of the season with 13 digs in the match. Piechota collected her 10th double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs.
Morgan Cochran picked up 27 digs for her 10th 20-dig match of the season. The senior libero entered the weekend with 6.02 digs per set leading the SoCon and tied for the lead in the NCAA. On the weekend she picked up 57 digs in nine sets for 6.33 digs per set raising her season average .03 points to 6.05 digs per set. She also continues to inch closer the to WCU school record with 1,932 career digs; she needs just 220 to break Liz Rondone's mark of 2,152 career digs. With 68 more digs Cochran does become only the second Catamount to eclipse the 2,000 career dig barrier. She also entered the weekend ranked 11th in the NCAA on the active career dig lists.
After falling behind 18-12 in the first set, WCU stormed back with a 10-2 run aided by kills from Timmermann, Piechota and Brandi Anderson; the run ended with the Catamounts leading 22-20. After a Paladin kill cut the lead to 22-21, the Catamounts ended the set, 25-21, with the final three points. WCU enjoyed their best hitting performance in the opening set with a .333 hitting percentage and 15 kills.
The second set was all Furman as the Paladins jumped out to a 19-9 lead en route to a 25-14 set two win to even the match at one set each. This time it was Furman with a .333 hitting percentage. The Paladsin recorded kills on 21 of the 25 points scored in the set.
With the score tied at 14 in the third set, Furman edged out to an 18-15 lead highlighted by a pair of kills and an ace. WCU trimmed the margin down to two points twice, 18-16 and 19-17, but that would be as close as the Catamounts would get as the Paladins took the 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-21 set win.
With another tightly contested set Furman broke a tie at 19 with a 4-0 run on two Paladin kills and two Catamount attack errors to take a 23-19 lead. WCU would not be able to force a fifth set as the Paladins escaped with the set win, 25-21, and the match win, 3-1. Nineteen kills and a .326 hitting in the fourth set aided in the Paladins in the set win.
Western Carolina stays in the Ramsey Center as the Catamounts are in the midst of four-match home stand. WCU plays host to The Citadel on Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m. and to Georgia Southern Saturday, November 19 at 7 p.m.
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