Volleyball team drops final two matches

After upsetting Furman, the WCU volleyball team had two final matches to show they belong in the eight-team SoCon tournament. Instead of qualifying, the Cats quietly finished out the 2007 season with two losses. The first loss of the weekend came on Saturday against Elon. The Cats would fall 3-0 (21-30, 20-30, 20-30) to the Phoenix. Sophomore’s Katie Hennessey and Liz Rondone were the only Cats to play well in this match. Hennessey led the way with 23 assists, while Rondone scraped in 10 digs. Game one was pretty non-competitive as the Cats never led and only tied the game at 1-1. The Phoenix jumped out to a 19-7 lead before winning by nine. WCU would score the first point in game two, but it would be their only lead of the game. They would tie the game at 2-2, but Elon would lead the rest of the way and win by 10. Western would put forth more effort in game three, but it wouldn’t matter. The Cats once again scored the first point and, once again, it would be their only lead of the game. However, the Cats did fight back and tie the game several times. The last tie would be at 13-13 as the Phoenix used a 17-7 run to finish off the Cats. The Cats would lose their final match of the year on Sunday as they traveled over to UNCG. The Cats played much more inspired ball this time and only lost 3-1 (27-30, 30-27, 19-30, 25-30). Western had several solid performances. Senior Meredith Harmon led the way as she wrapped up her Catamount career. The 6’1″ middle blocker from Villa Hills, Kentucky finished the night with 13 kills. Hennessey had 39 assists, while Rondone finished with 21 digs. Freshman Jelena Jakovljevic finished with 16 kills, while freshman Carly Cash played her best game of the year with 12 digs. The Spartans jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in game one. The lead would serve UNCG well as WCU could only tie for the majority of game one. The Catamounts finally broke through when they took a 20-19 lead, but the lead was short lived as the Spartans finished on an 11-7 run to win game one. Game two was a very tight and competitive affair. The Cats struck first with a 1-0 lead, but UNCG was back in the lead at 5-4. The Cats would battle back and take the lead again at 9-8, but two straight points by the Spartans would give them a 10-9 lead. Western wouldn’t go away and they regained the lead at 14-13, but just like earlier UNCG would take the lead back a few points later at 18-17. It would take WCU longer to regain the lead this time as they couldn’t get back in the pole position until 23-22, but this time the lead would last. The Spartans would tie the game three times after that point, but the Cats held on and won the game by three. After theire game two loss, the Spartans stopped messing around. UNCG dominated game three as they led from wire to wire. The only tie was at 1-1. The Spartans would lead by as much as 17 before winning by 11. The Cats would play better in game four, but it wasn’t enough as they would lose by five. The two losses dropped WCU’s final record to 9-24 overall and 4-14 in the SoCon. The Catamounts would finish 9th out of 11 teams in the conference and one spot outside the eight team conference tournament. The Cats finished three games below last year’s total of 12 wins and wrapped up coach Stephanie Dragan’s third straight losing season.