Nov. 9, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - With a trip to the Southern Conference Tournament on the line Friday in Cullowhee, Western Carolina dropped a close 3-0 (21-25, 25-27, 23-25) decision to Chattanooga at the Ramsey Center. With the win, Chattanooga sealed the fourth seed in the North Division.
Friday's match featured two of the best liberos in the country, with both Western Carolina's Morgan Cochran and Chattanooga's Paula Passmore both ranked in the top 25 in the country in digs. In the loss, co-captain Morgan Cochran set a season-best in digs in three sets with 32. Passmore finished with 26, but the Mocs outdigged the Catamounts, 73-66.
Chattanooga's Briana Reid led the way offensively with 13 kills while also scooping up 12 digs, but the hard-hitting Sarah Batterton picked up points in key situations to push Chattanooga over the top in the close match. Batterton finished with 11 kills.
Two Catamounts finished with double-digit kills as Jordan Timmermann picked up 11 while freshman Nicole Ford tallied 10. Defensive specialists Paige McConlogue and Elyssa Mulheron picked kills as well. The kill for Mulheron was the first of her WCU career.
Down 1-0 in the match, the Catamounts played evenly with the Mocs throughout the second set, with the match tied at 18 late in the second. From there, Chattanooga extended its lead to 23-20 before WCU came back and pulled within one, 22-23, before the Mocs would use a timeout. Chattanooga picked up a quick point to set up set point. WCU rattled off two points off a service error and a UTC attack error to tie the match at 24. Both teams again traded points before the Mocs would pull out two straight points to pick up the 2-0 lead.
The third was just as exciting as the first two sets with neither team able to sustain a lead of more than three points until late in the set. WCU maintained a 17-14 lead midway through the set before a 3-0 run by the Mocs evened the match. The Catamounts ended the streak with a kill by senior Abbey Scroggins off the Tina Nazario set. From there, Chattanooga picked up four consecutive points to pull away for good in the match, winning the set 25-23.
With the win, Chattanooga now sits three games above Western Carolina in the SoCon North Division standings, thus eliminating any chance for the Catamounts to make it to Davidson - the site of this year's SoCon Tournament.
Tomorrow the Catamounts return to action against the North's top-ranked team - Samford - with the match beginning at 6 p.m. Just before the match begins, Western Carolina will honor its two seniors, Abbey Scroggins and Cayla Crawley. The match will be streamed through CatamountSports.com with GameTracker also available for the match.