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Catamount Volleyball Ready to Host 2017 SoCon Championship

Nov. 16, 2017

>>>Championship Central

CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina University volleyball team will serve as hosts of the 2017 Southern Conference Volleyball Championship this weekend Nov. 17-19. This will be WCU's second time hosting in the past three seasons with five Catamount seniors looking at their second chance to capture a championship on their home floor. The Catamounts are in search of their fourth SoCon Tournament title and first since 1986.

This season WCU earned the No. 7 seed and will face the No. 2 seed ETSU in the quarterfinals on Friday at 5 pm. The winner of the WCU versus ETSU match will advance to face the winner of No. 3 UNCG versus No. 6 Chattanooga at 4:30 pm Saturday.

The Catamounts split with the Buccaneers during the regular season. ETSU won 3-1 in Johnson City including edging the Catamounts 26-24 in the opening set. When the match was played in Cullowhee it was the Catamounts with the upper hand as WCU won in five sets including a thrilling 17-15 fifth set. The two programs have met seven times in the SoCon Championships over the years including a pair of matches where the title was on the line. WCU holds a 5-2 mark in those contests. The first meeting came in 1983 in the finals as WCU won their first SoCon Tournament Championship with a 3-1 victory. WCU would go on to defeat ETSU in the semifinals in 1984 (3-0) and 1988 (3-1). ETSU picked up its first victory in the postseason series in 1989 with the SoCon title on the line. The Buccaneers slipped by withy a 3-2 victory. ETSU also defeated the Catamounts 3-2 in the 1992 semifinals. WCU ended the slide with a 3-1 victory in the 1997 semifinals. The most recent meeting took place in 2014 in the quarterfinals. WCU defeated ETSU 3-0 to advance to the semifinals.

WCU will look to its seniors to provide leadership to a relativily young team. Four of WCU's top five hitters are either freshmen or sophomores but the Catamounts boast a five-person senior class who has seen action in three previous SoCon Championships. All-Southern Conference Second Team member Katie O'Connor is playing the best volleyball of her career over the last few matches and will be looked upon as a go-to player on the court.


 

 

The Catamounts have tallied wins over the No. 2 seed ETSU, No. 4 seed Wofford, No. 6 seed Chattanooga, No. 8 seed Mercer and No. 9 seed The Citadel throughout the 2017 campaign. A win in the quarterfinals would represent WCU's second trip to the semifinals in the last four seasons.

Action gets underway Friday morning at 9:30 am. There will be five matches on Friday at 9:30 am, noon, 2:30 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm. The semifinals will take place on Saturday at 2 pm and 4:30 pm with the finals being played on Sunday at 2 pm.

Tickets are available at the door or online at CatamountSports.com. An All-Tournament Pass is $20 for an adult and $15 for youth. A single day pass is $10 for an adult and $5 for youth. All Southern Conference member institution students get in free with their valid student ID.

The Last Meeting
ETSU2
Western Carolina3
October 22, 2017
Cullowhee, N.C.
WCU Volleyball Upsets Visiting ETSU in Five Sets
It all came down to the fifth and deciding set Sunday afternoon inside the Ramsey Center as the host Western Carolina volleyball team upended visiting ETSU 3-2 in Southern Conference action. The Buccaneers entered the match with the second-best conference mark in the league but a fired up WCU team came out swinging and stunned the Bucs.

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