Volleyball Opens SoCon Play at Home Against Samford, Mercer

CULLOWHEE, NC — After playing its first 12 regular-season games away in a variety of early-season tournaments, the Western Carolina volleyball team opens both the home portion of its schedule and the Southern Conference game this weekend when the Catamounts welcome Samford on Friday and Mercer for two games at 6 p.m. Saturday at Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center.

Admission to all volleyball games is free as the entrance to the Ramsey Center is on the ground floor near the truck tunnel adorned with the WCU logo. After each game there will be an autograph session with the volleyball team. Both games will be streamed on ESPN+ (requires paid subscription) with free live stats on CatamountSports.com.

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WCU is 7-5 full-year through non-conference games after splitting two games at last weekend’s Hokie Classic. The Catamounts recorded an exciting 3-2 win over rival Appalachian State on Thursday before dropping a 3-0 decision against tournament hosts Virginia Tech on Friday. fifth grader Happy Gebel and jr Destinee Dorsey were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Heading into this weekend’s action, the Catamounts rank third in SoCon in kills (12.98k/set) with an attack percentage of .212 (4th) and fourth defensively in blocks (1.73b/set ) and fifth place in Digs (14.20 d/set). Gebel is seventh in the league in kills per set with 3.30 and tenth in batting average of .257, while Dorsey is sixth in digs per set with 3.54.

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Samford finished second in the SoCon preseason poll and is 5-7 in the season after a 3-1 win over Murray State on Sunday afternoon as part of the Samford Invite. In addition to Murray State, the Bulldogs have wins against Little Rock, Jackson State, UAB and Nicholls State with losses to LSU, Rice, Houston, Kennesaw State, South Dakota State, Jacksonville State and Clemson. Kayla Keshock leads SoCon with 10.49 assists per set and Kate Morgan leads the league with 22 service aces. The teams split the 2021 regular-season series, with each team claiming a 3-1 win on their home court.

Mercer is 4-8 overall and goes into the opening weekend of league play with a four-game loss as the Bears visit UNCG on Friday night. The Bears have wins against Alabama A&M, Queens University, Bethune Cookman and SIU Edwardsville, and losses against Lehigh, Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, Charleston Southern, Stetson, Maryland, Virginia and East Carolina. Anne Karle is second in SoCon in kills with 3.84 per set. The Bears swept the 2021 season series against WCU.

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After the brief stint at home, WCU hits the road this coming weekend, traveling to reigning SoCon tournament champion The Citadel on Friday, followed by a visit to 2021 SoCon regular season champion Wofford on Saturday.

Follow all things Catamount Volleyball and WCU Athletics through his social media channels on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Instagram (@wcu_catamounts, @catamountvb) and Twitter (@catamounts, @catamountvb).

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