Nov. 18, 2011
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -
Western Carolina volleyball (No. 3 seed) will face Furman (No. 2 seed) in the first round of the 2011 SoCon Volleyball Tournament hosted by Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.
Western Carolina (13-19, 8-8 SoCon) and Furman (20-8, 13-3 SoCon) have met a total of 63 times, having lost its last four matches against the Paladins. Overall, the Catamounts are 29-34 against Furman. The two teams met this season back on Oct. 16 in Cullowhee. Furman won the match in four sets, despite the Catamounts stealing away the first set by a score of 25-17.
Furman was led in the match by Natalie Braun. Braun picked up a triple-double with 10 kills, 26 assists and 20 digs. Freshman Caitlin Piechota was the only Catamount with double-figure kills with 11. Despite the poor offensive performance throughout the entire match, WCU came out of the gates fast, jumping ahead to a 13-4 advantage in the first set. T
he Catamounts also outblocked the Paladins 11-3. Sophomore libero Morgan Cochran matched a season-high 25 digs as the sophomore picked up her - at the time - eighth consecutive match over 10 digs. The match is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. (EST) with the match being shown on SoCon TV and with Live Stats also available. Both links can be found at CatamountSports.com. The winner of the match will face the winner of Samford/Davidson on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
-First Trip to the SoCon Tournament Since 2006-
Western Carolina returns to the Southern Conference Volleyball Tournament following a five year hiatus from the event, when the Catamounts last played in 2006. WCU lost in the first round of that event. WCU has not won a match in the conference tournament since 2005, when the Purple and Gold defeated UNCG - a No. 10 seed - in three sets. Western Carolina last faced the Furman Paladins in the tournament in 2002 with the Paladins overcoming the Catamounts in five sets. WCU is 0-4 again Furman in SoCon Tournament play. The 2002 match is the only time Western has picked up a match against the Furman in the tournament.
Western Carolina has won three overall SoCon Tournaments (1983, 1985, 1986) and has finished second twice (1997, 1998).
-Most Conference, Overall Wins Since ’03-
The win over Chattanooga gave Western Carolina its eighth win in Southern Conference play. Western Carolina had not won more thanfour SoCon matches since 2005 when the Catamounts won seven under first-year head coach Stephanie Dragan. The thirteen wins overall is the most for WCU since 2003 when the Purple and Gold won sixteen.
-Catamounts Move Into Record Book-
Senior middle blocker Carrie Minogue looks to continue her climb through the WCU record books as Minogue has taken sole possession of fifth place on the total blocks chart with 302. Fourth place is held by Meredith Harmon with 337 blocks.
Also gaining ground on the list is senior Rebecca Stoltz. Stoltz currently has 260 total blocks. She needs to get to 261 to tie Holly Poff for tenth. Sophomore libero Morgan Cochran made the all-time digs list last season averaging 4.14 digs/per set, ranking her fifth all-time. Her current average of 4.61 would put her third in the record book.