Catamounts Hold Off Strong Push by Citadel Spikers
Cullowhee, N.C. – A trio of double-digit kill matches by Caitlin Piechota, Abbey Scroggins and Jordan Timmerman proved to be the difference in Western Carolina's 25-15, 26-24, 25-14 downing of The Citadel in Friday night SoCon volleyball action.
The Bulldogs tallied 32 kills as a team, led by a team-high nine from Rachel Farrell and eight by fellow outside hitter Ise d'Angelo. Meanwhile, Erin Bucherl anchored The Citadel defensive efforts with 21 digs, while Farrell tacked on 10 digs, narrowly missing the double-double. The Dogs posted 14 assisted blocks, including five by Lauren Hurt and four by Farrell. The loss drops the Cadets to 4-21 overall and 0-9 in conference action.
Western Carolina's offense was keyed by the performance of Piechota (12 kills), Scroggins (11 kills) and Timmerman (10 kills). That combination was instrumental in guiding the Catamounts to 48 total kills and a .206 hitting percentage. Piechota and Timmerman not only made their marks offensively, but also came through with 14 and 11 digs, respectively, on the defensive end. WCU recorded 66 digs as a team, led by Morgan Cochran's 21. The Catamounts improved to 8-16 and 4-5 in the North Division of the SoCon.
The host Catamounts established home court advantage early in the first set, jumping out to a 13-5 behind three kills each by Scroggins and Nicole Ford. The Bulldogs answered with strikes by d'Angelo, Farrell and Jessica Maxwell, but WCU took advantage of unforced Citadel errors en route to a 21-12 lead. Four Western Carolina kills among the final seven points of the set proved to be the difference in the 25-15 victory.
The Citadel bounced back strong in the second set, using three kills by Farrell and two each by Hurt, d'Angelo and Maxwell to assume a 13-9 lead in the early going. Piechota drove home a kill for the Catamounts and following a series of points by Timmerman and Paige McConlogue the game reached a 15-15 tie. The Bulldogs regained their composure and scored six of the next nine points to assume a 21-18 advantage. WCU retaliated with kills by Timmerman, Scroggins and Leah Butler and used four unforced errors to complete the 26-24 rally.
That momentum carried over into the third set as the Catamounts moved in front 13-9 due in large part to four Timmerman kills. The four-point lead quickly ballooned to 19-12, where with McConlogue in serve Western Carolina scored four straight points to take command of the decisive set. Two kills by d'Angelo down the stretch were not enough to deter Western Carolina from completing the 25-14 win.
The Citadel completes its weekend volleyball road trip at Appalachian State on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.