• Steven Grandy / WCU

Volleyball Battles Thursday at NC State Tournament


The Western Carolina volleyball team dropped a pair of hard-fought 3-1 matches to both Indiana and TCU on Thursday at the NC State Tournament at Reynolds Coliseum.

The Catamounts (5-4) conclude the tournament play on Friday against the host Wolfpack at 2 p.m. The match will be streamed on ACC Network Extra (paid subscription required) with free live stats available on CatamountSports.com.

Indiana 3, Western Carolina 1 (22-25, 20-25, 25-22, 24-26)

Bailey Hartsough posted a double-double with a match-best 15 kills along with 12 digs to lead the Catamounts in their tournament opener against Indiana. Merry Gebel added her 59th career double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Livi Weidmann added a season-best 12 kills. Destinee Dorsey was credited with a team-best 15 digs while Sydney Carlson distributed 17 assists.

Mady Saris paced the Hoosiers with 15 kills followed by Candela Alonso-Corcelles with 14, Morgan Geddes with 12, and Savannah Kjolhede and Kaley Rammelsberg with 11. Paula Cerame had a match-best 22 digs.

A Hartsough kill gave the Catamounts a 9-5 lead and WCU pushed its advantage to 15-8 after following consecutive Indiana errors before the Hoosiers used a late charge to take the opening set.

Indiana grabbed an 8-5 lead in the second set following a WCU error and led 15-14 at the media timeout. The Catamounts used a 3-0 spurt for a 17-16 advantage following a Sarah Janourova service ace before the Hoosiers answered with a 7-0 run to take control of the frame.

The Catamounts jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set before Indiana used an 8-0 run for a 10-7 advantage. Indiana led 17-16 after a kill by Alonso-Corcelles before a Gebel kill sparked a 3-0 Catamount run. WCU extended its lead to 23-19 thanks to an Indiana error and clinched the set on kills by Hartsough and Johnna Robinson to pull to within one, 2-1.

A tightly contested fourth set saw seven lead changes with the largest lead enjoyed by either team being three points. Tied at 21, Indiana took three of the next four points to gain match point. WCU responded with kills by Hartsough and Gebel to tie the set, but Indiana clinched the match thanks to kills by Geddes and Alonso-Corcelles.

TCU 3, Western Carolina 1 (25-23, 16-25, 17-25, 22-25)

In Western Carolina’s second match of the day, Merry Gebel led the Catamounts with 14 kills, finishing in double figures offensively for the seventh straight match. Sydney Carlson was credited with a team-best 20 assists.

Julia Adams led three Horned Frogs in double figure kills with 18. Audrey Nalls added 13 with Mykayla Myers contributing 10.

TCU grabbed a 12-9 lead in the opening set following a kill by Nalls and the Horned Frogs continued to lead during the middle stages. Trailing 23-20, the Catamounts used kills by Bailey Hartsough and Gebel along with a TCU error to even the score. Gebel gave WCU set point with a service ace before Brooklyn Poling clinched the set with a kill for the early 1-0 advantage.

The Horned Frogs tallied three of the first four points in the second set and maintained a lead between one and four points during the middle stages of the stanza before pulling away down the stretch to tie the match at one.

WCU opened the third set on a 4-1 run but TCU tied the set at six on an Adams service ace. TCU led 15-11 thanks to a Myers kill and went on to claim the set to take a 2-1 match advantage.

The Catamounts grabbed a 13-11 lead in the fourth set following a kill by Poling. TCU tied the set at 18 with a Callie Williams kill and kept a marginal lead to secure the match win, 3-1.

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