Nov. 13, 2011
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Seniors Carrie Minogue, Brittany Lysik and Rebecca Stoltz set career marks as the Western Carolina volleyball team defeated Chattanooga in five sets (25-27, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 15-12) to become the third seed in the Southern Conference Tournament, reaching postseason for the first time since 2006.
Carrie Minogue set a career-high in kills, tallying a match-high 24 kills, hitting at a .457 clip. Brittany Lysik dished out 48 assists in the winning effort, while freshman Caitlin Piechota picked up her second double-double of the weekend, hitting 12 kills and picking up 22 digs. Stoltz set a career high in blocks, rejecting 11 potential kills by the Mocs.
The first set was tight with neither team able to grab a substantial lead. WCU reached set point as Abbey Scroggins and Carrie Minogue blocked Jennifer Kuroski's attack. Chattanooga would sideout, though, forcing extra points to determine the winner of the set. A UTC kill and a service ace would give the Mocs the 27-25 win to pick up the first point.
In the second, both teams remained even throughout most of the set. With the score at 18-18, the Catamounts got a big block from Rebecca Stoltz and Abbey Scroggins. Two kills from Stoltz and another block by the senior, with Jordan Timmermann assisting, would allow the Catamounts to tie the match going into the intermission.
Both teams would exchange points over the next two sets, setting up a fifth set to determine the winner and the Catamounts' postseason play.
Western Carolina continued where it left off from set four, jumping out to a 10-5 lead, forcing the Mocs to call a time out. Out of the timeout, UTC picked up four straight points, this time forcing Western Carolina to take its first timeout of the set. Out of the timeout, the Mocs would tie the set with a service ace from Melissa Green. The excitement continued as on the very next play, Green was not able to keep the serve inbounds, giving the Catamounts the 11-10 lead. The Mocs would again tie the match at 12, but it would be all Chattanooga could do in the match. A kill by Minogue and Piechota gave the Catamounts match point. Seniors Brittany Lysik and Carrie Minogue would block Meagan Ernd to allow Western Carolina to become the third seed from the North.
A total of five Catamounts reached double-digits in digs, as Jordan Timmermann (22), Piechota (22), Morgan Cochran (17), Paige McConlogue (14) and Brittany Lysik (13) all reached double figures.
"I am really proud of how this team developed throughout the season," said head coach Karen Glover. "The seniors have been through a lot in their careers here and I'm glad they are rewarded with a trip to the conference playoffs this year. This will be a great learning experience for our underclassmen as well."
This weekend's SoCon matches have created an interesting situation for the third and fourth seeds to represent the North Division. UNCG, who begin the weekend tied with Western Carolina for third, dropped both of its matches, giving the Spartans a 7-9 conference record. Elon won both of its matches to improve its record to 7-9 as well. The win over Chattanooga freed the Catamounts from the three-way tie, giving WCU the third seed. Elon, with the tiebreaker over UNCG, will be the No. 4 seed from the North.
Western Carolina will now play Furman, the No. 2 seed from the North, in the first round of the SoCon Tournament, hosted by Samford University, at 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.