Whitmer's Career-High 27 Kills Not Enough as Volleyball is Knocked Out of SAC Tournament


SALISBURY, NC -- Carson-Newman got 29 kills and 15 team blocks to post a five-set win over host Catawba at the 2010 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament on Friday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The Lady Eagles, seeded fourth, improved to 19-9 with the 24-26, 27-25, 25-23, 18-25 and 17-15 victory.  The fifth-seeded Catawba Indians fell to 14-13.  Carson-Newman advances to face top-seeded Wingate in a Saturday semifinal.

Mozgai’s teammate Nikki James followed with 21 kills as the duo combined for 50 of Carson-Newman’s 67 kills.  James added eight blocks and 10 digs.  Carly Swisher also reached double figures in kills, with 10, while adding seven blocks.  Setter Lara McDonald handed out 59 assists and libero Angelle Hayes registered 26 digs.

Kaitlyn Whitmer (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co. HS) led Catawba with 27 kills and hit at just under 35%.  She added 11 digs, two blocks and a pair of aces.  Shay Meeks (Kings Mountain, NC/Kings Mountain HS) followed with 18 kills.  Setter Jordan Raye (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) collected 53 assists with libero Jenny Young (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry HS) posting 27 digs.

Catawba led the final set 14-12 after consecutive kills from Meeks.  The Lady Eagles rallied behind back-to-back kills from Mozgai.  A kill by Alli Parrish (Zebulon, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) gave the Lady Indians one last match point, but Carson-Newman reeled off the final three points.  Swisher fought off the match point with a kill then combined with Lindsey Bryant on a block for a 16-15 edge.  An attack error by Catawba led to the final point.

The Lady Indians took the opening set after trailing 10-2 out of the gate.  Down 22-16, Catawba surged ahead with an eight-point run to go up 24-22 on the serving of Raye.  Whitmer had four kills in the run.  Meeks delivered the final kill in the set.

Carson-Newman took tightly contested sets #2 and #3.  Catawba led 10-5 in set two before the Lady Eagles rallied back.  Mozgai had a kill to give C-N a 20-16 edge, but the Lady Indians forced extra points as Whitmer pounded down consecutive kills for a 24-all tie.  Swisher posted a kill and a combo block to help the Lady Eagles lead 26-25 and Mozgai killed off the set.

The Lady Eagles fought back from an early deficit in set three as Mozgai served a pair of aces in a six-point run to put C-N up 12-10.  The teams traded leads until Swisher and James combined on a block to give Carson-Newman a 24-23 edge.  A Catawba attack error would end the set. 

In set four, Catawba extended the match by winning the only set not decided by two points.  Parrish had back-to-back kills to help the Lady Indians to a 12-7 lead.  Leading 16-14, Anna Logan served an ace and Whitmer had a block and a kill to put Catawba up 20-14.  A kill by Taylor Doss (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) finished off the set.

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