ASU volleyball team falls to Western Carolina
by Staff Reporter
CULLOWHEE — Appalachian State’s volleyball team dropped a five-set thriller 3-2 to arch rival and Southern Conference foe Western Carolina on Thursday evening at the Ramsey Center.
The Mountaineers (5-14, 1-4 SoCon) rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie the match with a dominant fourth-set effort, but the Catamounts (7-13, 3-2) seized all the momentum early in the deciding set en route to the victory. Western Carolina scored a 25-20, 18-25, 27-25, 12-25, 15-4 win.
Appalachian State’s Jacqui Spurgeon collected a match-high 15 kills while Dalton Tolliver and Lindsey Sauls finished with 14 and 13, respectively. Courtney Rhein set a career-high with 40 digs and Lauren Brown tallied a career-high 41 assists.
Western Carolina was paced by Jordan Timmerman’s 14 kills while Tina Nazarlo led all players with 45 assists. Morgan Cochran (35) and Caitlin Piechota (25) each eclipsed the 20-dig mark.
The Mountaineers tallied 15 blocks on the night to Western Carolina’s 18. Tolliver led the Apps with a match-high nine blocks including four solo and five block assists.
The night would begin with a back-and-forth battle early in the first set before Western was finally able to gain control thanks to several late runs as it took a 25-20 victory in the first set.
Appalachian would take the second set by a 25-18 score. The Mountaineers trailed 8-1 early on, but reeled off an impressive 7-0 run to knot the score up. The teams would trade points over the next several minutes, but the Mountaineers were eventually able to take control and tie the match at 1-1.
A wild third set would be the highlight of the night as the teams were tied 12 times and traded the lead nine times. ASU had a chance to put the Catamounts away with a 25-24 lead, but Western Carolina scored three-straight points to take the set, 27-25, and grab a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Mountaineers stormed to a fourth-set win. Appalachian put forth a dominant effort as it took the early lead and never looked back in a 25-12 victory.
The fifth and final set would be all Western Carolina. The Catamounts raced out to a 10-2 lead on their way to a 15-4 fifth set win and a 3-2 match victory.
Appalachian State returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to host Georgia Southern at the Holmes Center.