Cullowhee, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2003) -- Western Carolina's women's volleyball team preserved its home unbeaten streak Tuesday night as the Catamounts defeated East Tennessee State, 30-17, 30-24, 28-30, 30-22. The Cats improve to 9-7 (2-1 SoCon), while the Bucs fall to 2-13 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
"Tonight was a tough loss," said ETSU head coach Lindsey Devine. "When push comes to shove, we just have a hard time digging deep within ourselves to do what we have to do in order to win."
Western came out strong in the first game, posting a match-high .438 hitting percentage, while ETSU hit .091 percent. The Catamounts kept the pressure on throughout the match, tallying 10 team aces. WCU also dominated defensively by recording a season-high 90 digs and adding nine team blocks, while the Bucs had 76 digs and seven team blocks.
East Tennessee relied heavily on the leadership of senior Kate Steidle (Waynesboro, Va.), who led the team with 13 kills on a season-high 42 attacks. Defensively, junior Karen Freeburg (New Castle, Ind.) picked up 15 digs to lead the Bucs and senior Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.) posted a team-leading five blocks and three aces. ETSU hit .109 for the night.
WCU was led by senior Michelle Gorton, who recorded a team-leading, season-high .632 hitting percentage with 13 kills on 19 attacks and one error. Kellyn Thaut additionally tallied a season-high 24 points (19 kills, four aces, two assisted blocks) to lead the Cats. Sara Komosinski, WCU's all-time leading blocker, added five more to her career total, now with 395 blocks in her four-year career. Shari Harder, who led the match with 47 assists, picked up a match-high 20 digs as well. The Cats hit .265 overall for the match.
"We are quite happy to be done with this long stretch away from home," said Devine, whose team played its first 15 matches on the road. "We can't wait to finally play in front of our own fans."
ETSU will host its first home match of the season on the Buccaneers annual "Family Day," when Davidson comes to town this Saturday, Oct. 4. The contest will begin at 1 p.m. in Brooks Gym.