Aug 30, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Led by Caitlin Piechota's 27 total kills in two matches the Western Carolina volleyball team swept Wright State 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-20) and beat Boston College 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-16) to open the 2013 season on day one of the WCU Invitational.
Piechota strung together nine kills on 20 attempts with no errors for a .450 hitting percentage in the first match against Wright State and followed up with a match-high 18 kills and 16 digs for her 12th career double-double.
In the first match against Wright State, WCU fell behind early, 9-5, but rallied back to take the lead. Down 12-9 WCU mounted a 6-0 run highlighted by three Jordan Timmermann service aces. WCU went on to take the set 25-17.
Set two, saw Western Carolina jump out to a 14-9 lead en route to a 25-16 win. Addy George had four of her nine kills in the set.
The Catamounts went on the complete the sweep as Piechota powered WCU with four kills and five digs in the 25-20 set three win.
George's nine kills tied her with Piechota for the Western Carolina lead. George finished with a team-high 11 points as she added three total blocks, one solo and two block assists. Cristina Nazario handed out 31 assists, while Morgan Cochran collected 13 digs.
Western Carolina hit a sizzling .330 as a team putting them fourth all-time for team hitting percentage in a match. The Catamounts had 40 kills on 91 attempts with 10 errors. The Raiders ended with 30 kills on 100 swings and 20 errors for a .100 hitting percentage. WCU held an advantage at the net as they out blocked Wright State six to one.
In the second match of the day for Western Carolina against Boston College, WCU broke a tie at eight with a 5-0 run sparked by two George kills in the first set. The Eagles fought back and tied the set at 17, but the Catamounts regained control of the set, 20-18, on a Piechota kill. WCU held off BC to claim the set 25-21.
The second set was another tightly contested set as neither team could pull away with more than a three-point lead. With the score tied at 23, BC used a service ace by Lauren Fields and a kill by Sarah Mendes to squeak out a 25-23 win.
The two teams continued the back-and-forth play early in the third set, but WCU broke open the set with 5-1 run taking advantage of key BC errors to push the lead out to six points, 19-13. The Eagles clawed back to trim the margin to two points, 22-20, but Piechota claimed the set for the Catamounts, 25-21, with two kills over the final five rallies. WCU had five team blocks in set three with George leading the way with four total blocks, one solo and three block assists. Cochran, who almost doubled her dig total for the prior to the set in the match, picked up 11 digs.
Boston College looked poised to force a fifth set as they took the lead early in set four, 12-9. Trailing 15-13, WCU's Brandi Anderson delivered three straight kills followed by back-to-back kills from Nicole Ford as the Catamounts took an 18-15 lead. Western Carolina never looked back as they closed out the set and the match, 25-16, with a 7-1 run.
Piechota's 18 kills led all players in the match, while Timmermann followed with 11 kills. Timmermann also earned a double-double, her 14th of her career, with 14 digs. Nazario handed out 45 assists and picked up 14 digs for her fifth career double-double. Cochran finished the match one dig shy of the 30-dig club, 29 digs.
The Catamounts dominated the net with 14 team blocks compared to nine for the Eagles. WCU's 14 team blocks tied them for third all-time for single-game performances. George paved the way with eight total blocks, one solo and seven block assists. Nazario and Ford followed with six block assists each.
The match featured 22 ties and ten lead changes.
The win was the first time since September 9, 2006, a 3-1 win over Air Force, that the Catamounts defeated a team from a BCS conference, and the first time since 1990 to earn a win over a team from the ACC. On October 20, 1990 WCU beat Georgia Tech 3-0.
Western Carolina returns to the court Saturday, August 31 at noon against USC Upstate for its next match. The Catamounts complete the WCU Invitational with mountain rival UNC Asheville Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the tournament's finale.
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