Sept. 28, 2010
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Catamount volleyball squad hits the court at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, in a match up with mountain-rival Appalachian State.
WCU is coming off a non-conference win over Bethune-Cookman in three sets (25-16, 25-17, 28-26) on Sunday, Sept. 26. Senior Paloma Alvarez posted a match-high 16 kills in the victory while junior Carrie Minogue added 11 kills. The Catamounts (5-11, 0-1 SoCon) recorded a season-high .340 attacking percentage in the victory.
Through 16 matches, Alvarez ranks third in the Southern Conference in kills per set as she has rattled off 3.04 kills per set. The Arecibo, Puerto Rico native paces the Catamount offense with 174 kills. She also is averaging 2.09 digs per set, the fourth most on the team.
In addition to Alvarez being tabbed one of the SoCon's leaders, four other WCU players have found their names on the leader list in Amanda Chaparro, Morgan Cochran, Emily Franklin and Kelcie Randazzo.
Chaparro and Randazzo are both in the top-10 in service aces as Randazzo is tied for fifth with 21 on the year while Chaparro has 19.
Cochran has been ranked in the top-10 for digs since week two of the weekly statistical reports from the SoCon office. The Mebane, N.C., native ranks fourth in digs, averaging 4.02 digs per set for a team-best 213 digs. She is the highest ranked freshman in the statistical category with the only other newcomer in the category being UNC Greensboro's Kellie Orewiler who falls into the No. 10 spot in the rankings.
Franklin breaks the top-10 for the first time this season, rounding out the top-10 in assists per set with a 6.12 clip. The Lexington, Ky., native has a team-best 257 assists on the year and has averaged 9.62 assists per set in the Catamounts last six contests.
WCU has gradually been improving this season amidst four new players and having a total of six underclassmen on the roster. Even down two players due to illness, the Catamounts have surpassed its win total from last year with 16 regular-season matches remaining on the schedule.
When comparing the Catamounts first eight matches to their last eight, there have been signs of improvement. Offensively, WCU has 12 more kills, 31 more assists and nine more service aces in its last eight matches than the first eight. The Catamounts have also seen fewer errors committed in their last eight matches. Most notably, WCU has committed 14 fewer service receiving errors. All told, WCU has recorded 34 less errors in the last eight matches than their first eight.
WCU has also become more effective in its blocking game, recording 2.20 blocks per set last week through three matches, out blocking opponents by seven (22-15) during that span. Before their three matches last week, the Catamounts were averaging 1.40 blocks per set. Freshman Leah Best leads the squad with 40 blocks (35 block assists, five solo blocks) on the year while adding 44 kills.
The match between Appalachian State and WCU will be streamed live, online via www.catamountsports.com for free. The link can be access by clicking HERE.
Scouting Appalachian State
After starting the season with a six-match win streak, the Mountaineers (10-4, 1-0 SoCon) have gone 2-3 in their last five contests. Appalachian State is unblemished in SoCon action, recording a three-set victory (25-13, 25-20, 25-16) over The Citadel on Sept. 25 in Boone, N.C.
Meghann Forshey and Kelly Rhein pace the Mountaineer offense with 2.54 kills per set and 2.52 kills per set, respectively. Two players in Lauren Brown and Kasey Sauls have combined for 485 of the team's 561 assists on the year.
Appalachian State is averaging 15.50 digs per set and 2.83 blocks per set as a team this season.
Against Appalachian State
The Mountaineers hold a 44-27 advantage over the Catamounts in the all-time series. WCU lost both meetings last year between the two teams and is looking to snap a three-game skid against Appalachian State. WCU's last win over the Mountaineers came on Oct. 15, 2008 in Cullowhee. The Catamounts won in four-sets (25-22, 27-25, 21-25, 25-20).
The Catamounts conclude its nine-game home stand this upcoming weekend with SoCon matches against UNC Greensboro at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 and against Elon on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 3 p.m.