CULLOWHEE, N.C. (Oct. 26, 2004) - Four Catamounts tallied double figure kills, led by the double-double performance of sophomore Heather Koontz as Western Carolina clawed to a 2-0 lead then survived to defeat East Tennessee State, 3-1 (35-33, 30-27, 19-30, 30-24) in Southern Conference volleyball action Tuesday night at the Ramsey Activity Center. Western improved to 10-13 on the season, evening its conference mark at 6-6. The Buccaneers dropped to 4-18 overall, 3-9 in league play.
In the opening game, East Tennessee State raced to a 10-3 advantage before the Catamounts could recover. Western eventually would, tying the score at 13 on an ETSU attack error. The Bucs, however, charged back in front on a 6-1 run prompting a Western Carolina timeout. After the break, the game seesawed back-and-forth before the Cats tied it again at 24 then surging ahead. ETSU hung tough, however, breaking seven game point chances before Western could finish off the game, 35-33, taking the early lead.
Game two saw the roles reversed as the Cats pounced out to an 11-4 advantage. Yet, as in the opening stanza, the opponent rallied as East Tennessee State rallied to tie the match at 14. The Bucs took a pair of leads, but a trio of kills, a pair of service aces and a tandem of errors saw Western on top, 23-18. ETSU pulled to within two down the stretch, but the Catamounts finished off the second game with a kill by Koontz and a 2-0 lead.
The Buccaneers limited the Catamounts to seven kills with attack errors to dominate the third game of the match and force game four. ETSU used three Andrea Piercy (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) solo blocks to add the exclamation point to the victory.
Both squads battled back-and-forth most of the way through the fourth game. East Tennessee State rallied back from a five-point deficit to take a slim two-point advantage at 20-18 when WCU head coach Angell Benson called for a timeout. After the stoppage, Western responded with a 6-1 run to take a 24-21 lead. Then, up three at 27-24, a pair of attack errors and a Koontz kill wrapped up the match for the Catamounts, 30-24.
East Tennessee State was paced by Piercy who finished with a double-double tallying a match-high 16 kills and 15 digs. She poured in four solo blocks, three set assists, and a service ace. Junior Sara Scandiffio (Purcellville, Va.) tallied 14 kills and matched Piercy at the net, blocking four unassisted. Stepping into the setter position for the evening, Jennifer Sartor (Toronto, Canada) posted 37 assists adding 14 digs and two aces for the match.
East Tennessee State steps out of conference, traveling to UNC Asheville also on Thursday evening for a match slated to begin at 6:00 pm.