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Sarah Missroon
Sarah Missroon led the Mountaineers in both kills (14) and total blocks (10).
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Volleyball Falters Against Western Carolina

The App State volleyball team fell short in a five-set thriller to Western Carolina in the afternoon matinee at the Virginia Tech Classic on Thursday.

“I’m proud of how we executed our game plan and how efficiently we played. We just came up short,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “Western Carolina is a great team with some great wins on the year already and we were toe-to-toe with them and competed at a high level. We’ll be ready to get back at it tomorrow.”

The Mountaineers return to the court on Friday at 3 p.m. and will face Norfolk State.

Western Carolina 3, App State 2
Senior Sarah Missroon had herself a match, leading the team in both kills (14) and total blocks (10). The Mt. Pleasant, S.C. native was one of three Mountaineers who posted double-doubles during Thursday’s battle. Fellow senior McCall Denny posted 13 kills and 14 digs and junior Sophie Cain tallied 25 assists and 15 digs. Junior Cierra Huntley and freshman Kenady Roper matched Cain’s 15 digs, with 15 of their own, and freshman Maya Winterhoff match’s Denny’s 13 kills. Huntley led the team in aces, notching three.

App State led Western Carolina in blocks (17-6) and matched the Catamounts in digs with 74 each.

The Mountaineers maintained a tight lead through the first set, managing to break away from a 16-16 tie after three Catamount errors. A kill from sophomore Lulu Ambrose and another WCU error put the Black and Gold up 20-17. App State squared away the first set, 25-21, after a block from Missroon and junior Madison Baldridge, a kill from Missroon, and a service ace from senior Sam Bickley.

Western Carolina took an early lead in the second set, but the Mountaineers were swift to catch up, tying the score at five all with a block from Missroon and junior Meghan Dombrowski. Down by one, the Mountaineers went on a six-point run to regain the lead (11-6) that included kills from Dombrowski, Roper, and Winterhoff. WCU went on a four-point run after catching up to the Mountaineers at 17 all, pushing the score to 21-17. Down 24-19, the Mountaineers stalled the Catamounts, scoring three more points off two WCU errors and a service ace from Huntley, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the set.

App State came out hot in the third set, posting five unanswered points that included kills from Winterhoff and Denny, a block from Winterhoff and Baldridge, and an ace from Huntley, to take the lead, 5-2. App State, leading 13-10, went on a six-point run with kills from Cain, Baldridge, and Denny, as well as blocks from the duo of Missroon and Baldridge and Denny and Missroon. Up 22-13, the Mountaineers capped the third set with three more consecutive points to take set three, 25-13.

The Mountaineers fought through a tight fourth set, going point-for-point against the Catamounts, only allowing WCU a three-point lead before catching back up. Tied at 22 all, WCU found the momentum to score the final two points to take the set, 25-23.

WCU took a swift lead in the fifth and final set. Down 9-6, App State managed to get within one with a back-to-back kill and solo block from Denny. The Mountaineers managed to tie things up at 12 all after kills from Missroon and Ambrose. With the score 14-12, Missroon managed one more kill before the Catamounts took the set 15-13.