Nov. 9, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina volleyball concludes the 2012 regular season at home with tournament implications on the line in the Ramsey Center. To do so, the Catamounts need to end its five-match skid with wins over Chattanooga and Samford Friday and Saturday.
The road to the SoCon Tournament for the Catamounts deals with Friday's opponent, Chattanooga. Chattanooga and Western Carolina currently sit in the fourth and fifth place spots in the SoCon North Division standings. A win this weekend by Chattanooga (WCU, Appalachian State) or a loss by the Catamounts means that Chattanooga will confirm its trip to the tournament. If Chattanooga loses both matches and Western Carolina wins both of its matches, then the Catamounts will head to Davidson rather than the Mocs.
The good news for the Catamounts is that both of their matches are at home where WCU is 6-4 this season as WCU has not fared as well on the road holding a 2-17 record away from the Ramsey Center.
Both matches will be streamed via CatamountSports.com with GameTracker also available for the matches with both set to begin at 6:00 p.m.
- Scouting Chattanooga -
The first time around this season, Western Carolina defeated Chattanooga, 3-1, on the road to pick up its lone conference road win back on Sept. 22. The victory was also the first SoCon win of 2012.
In that match, Jordan Timmermann picked up a match-high 22 kills while junior co-captain Morgan Cochran tallied a then career-high 33 digs. The Catamounts finished with 12 total blocks in the match with freshman Nicole Ford and senior Abbey Scroggins each notching five blocks. Addy George also had four blocks. Freshman Nicole Ford also had 10 kills in the match.
The Mocs wrap up the season Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in Boone, N.C., against the Mountaineers. Chattanooga took three sets from ASU on Sept. 21 at Maclellan Gym to claim its first SoCon win of the season. Since visiting UTC, App State has won three of its last 13 games, but the Mountaineers are a tough 4-3 at home this season.
The Mocs go into the weekend looking to improve on a 1-8 road record. Chattanooga currently ranks in the top 10 in six statistical SoCon category, including a second place ranking with 17.94 digs per set. UTC ranks seventh in both service aces and opponent hitting percentage, as well.
Friday's match features two of the best liberos at scooping up digs in NCAA volleyball. Senior Paula Passmore (Merritt Island, Fla.) currently holds a 6.29 digs per set average to lead the SoCon, ranking second in the NCAA. The libero has recorded double-digit digs in each of the Mocs 29 matches this season and has six matches in which she has claimed 30-or-more digs. She has two 40-plus digs matches this season. The Catamounts' Morgan Cochran is 24th in the country in digs, averaging 5.41 digs per set and is currently second in the SoCon in that category.
Freshman Briana Reid (Houston, Texas) is coming off a SoCon Freshman of the Week campaign in which she recorded three double-doubles in a row, including her career-best 17-kill performance against UNCG last Saturday. Reid also set a new career-high with 28 digs against Elon last Friday night while leading the Mocs offense with 14 kills.
Historically, WCU leads the all-time series with a 36-33 record having won its last three matches over the Mocs.
Samford - the leader of the SoCon North - currently boasts a 12-2 SoCon record and a 20-8 overall mark. The conference record is the third best in the Southern Conference behind Georgia Southern and College of Charleston.
WCU opened the conference slate in Birmingham with the Bulldogs downing the Cctamounts, 3-0. The Catamounts were held to one of the lowest offensive outputs of the season, losing 15-25, 12-25, 13-25. Jordan Timmermann led the way for the Purple and Gold with seven kills, as WCU was held to a .069 hitting percentage while Samford hit at a .326 percentage.
Samford sits in the top two of every offensive SoCon statistical category. Katie Murphy and Lauren Hutchinson are second and third in the league in hitting percentage, while Michaela Reesor is fourth in kills, averaging 3.75 per set. Setter Casey Garvey is second in assists with 11.63 a/s. Garvey is also the reigning SoCon Offensive Player of the Week.
WCU has lost its last 11 against Samford, with a 4-11 series record against the Bulldogs.