CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs are set to host the 2013 Country Inns & Suites Invitational Thursday-Saturday at Maclellan Gym. This year’s tournament features five teams, including UT Martin, Charlotte, UNC Asheville and Tennessee.
“We are very excited and fortunate to host this tournament in Chattanooga,” Head Coach Travis Filar said. “With five team in it this season, we look for it to be one of the most exciting tournaments we have hosted.”
Filar’s Mocs come into the weekend with an 0-3 mark, just the opposite of last season when Chattanooga was 3-0 in the same tournament. Last season, Chattanooga was undefeated against Tennessee Tech, USC Upstate and Alcorn State and placed three student-athletes on the All-Tournament team.
Against its upcoming opponents, Chattanooga is just 1-16. Tennessee holds an 0-7 mark over the Mocs, UT Martin is at an 0-5 advantage, Charlotte has won its only matchup and UNC Asheville is 3-1 against UTC. Chattanooga looks to shock the field, beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. with its matchup against Tennessee.
Tennessee comes into the weekend with a 2-1 mark. Back-to-back wins over Morehead State and Cincinnati put Tennessee at a 2-0 overall record to begin the season, but a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Butler gave the Lady Vols their first loss.
Along with being named to the Cincinnati All-Tournament Team, senior Ellen Mullins was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. The libero averaged 6.55 digs per set over the weekend.
UT Martin comes to Chattanooga with a successful opening weekend, going 2-1 at the CEFCU Classic and taking the championship title at the Bradley tournament in Peoria, Ill. The Skyhawks took wins from Maryland Eastern Shore and Bradley while falling 3-1 to Western Illinois. UT Martin then won its home opener 3-2 over Evansville 3-2 on Tuesday.
Following the weekend, sophomores Chelsea Bowles and Amanda Crask were named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week and Setter of the Week, respectively.
Out of state, Charlotte stands at 1-2 going into the Country Inns & Suites Invitational. The 49ers fell to CSU Bakersfield 1-3 and Davidson 2-3 before coming back to sweep a match from Charleston Southern. Charlotte, the most recent opponent Chattanooga will take on in the tournament, won a 3-0 match over the Mocs in 2012 at the Clemson Classic in Clemson, S.C.
Rounding out the field is UNC Asheville as the Bulldogs enter with a 4-0 record. With an impressive start to the 2013 season, UNC Asheville has claimed wins over Wright State, Boston College, North Carolina Central and the SoCon’s Western Carolina.
After winning the Western Carolina Invitational in Cullowhee, N.C., Asheville’s middle blocker Anna Moore was named the tournament’s MVP and honored as the Big South’s Player of the Week.
For a full schedule of the Country Inns & Suites Invitational, click here or visit the link above. Video and live stats are available for each match.