Whitmer Leads Volleyball to Upset of Tusculum


GREENEVILLE, TN -- Catawba upset South Atlantic Conference co-leading Tusculum in four sets on Friday night at Pioneer Arena.  The Catawba Indians improve to 8-10 overall and 5-5 in the SAC with the 23-25, 25-23, 25-20 and 25-19 victory.  The Pioneers fall to 13-5 and 7-3.

Kaitlyn Whitmer (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co. HS) paced Catawba with a match-high 23 kills to go along with 19 digs and three aces.  Alli Parrish (Zebulon, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) followed up with 10 kills, 12 digs and two aces.  Libero Jenny Young (Roanoke, VA/Henry HS) collected 32 digs and setter Jordan Raye (Boonville, NC/Starmount HS) handed out 19 assists.  Carson Brewer (Raleigh, NC/Middle Creek HS/Cape Fear CC) tallied nine kills with 14 digs and three blocks.

Tusculum rallied in set one after consecutive kills from Whitmer had the Lady Indians up 18-14.  A kill from Kassie Voelker cut the margin to 19-18 and a three-point run later in the set put the Pioneers up 23-22.  A kill from Voelker and a Catawba ball handling error ended the first set.

Set two was also tightly contested.  Catawba moved up 17-13 after four straight points that included an ace by Brewer, but Tusculum answered with four of their own that included a pair of kills from Megan Hasse.  The Lady Indians took a 24-21 edge after three straight points that ended with a kill from Savannah Tomlinson (Remsenburg, NY/Westhampton Beach HS/UNCG).  After the Pioneers got within 24-23, Parrish killed off set point.

Tusculum went up 9-4 early in set three, but Catawba rallied and pulled even at 13-all.  Tomlinson started a three-point run that gave the Lady Indians a 16-14 edge and Catawba led the rest of the set.  Leading 20-19, Parrish had a kill and an ace to help Catawba pull out to 24-19 lead and the set ended on a combo block from Brewer and Tomlinson.

Catawba dominated the middle of set four.  Trailing 9-6, Whitmer had a kill and consecutive aces to spark a run the put the Lady Indians up 10-9.  Catawba held a 13-11 lead when Brewer started the deciding run with consecutive kills.  The Lady Indians scored  seven straight points to go up 20-11.  Tusculum whittled the margin to five late in the set, but Whitmer ended it with her final kill of the match.

Hasse led the Pioneers with 15 kills, while Voelker added 11 and Danae Stauffer 10.  Libero Caitlyn Dean recorded 39 digs and setter Ashley Sarmiento collected 31 assists and nine digs.
Catawba will be at Mars Hill on Saturday for a 2 p.m. match.

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