Davidson, N.C.-The Chattanooga Mocs (14-17, 8-8 SoCon) fell 3-1 to the College of Charleston (23-7, 14-2 SoCon) Saturday night at the Southern Conference Tournament in Davidson, N.C., at Belk Arena to bring the 2012 season to a close.
The Mocs were unable to find a rhythm in the first set, falling 25-15 to the Cougars. Chattanooga posted just six kills, two coming from freshman Lauren Gainer (Boca Raton, Fla.). The College of Charleston, however, downed 17 kills and committed only seven errors to hit .250.
Finding holes in the UTC defense early, CofC's Kerstin Koehler and Sloane White recorded .667 hitting percentages in the set. The Mocs were able to dig just 15 of Charleston's 40 attacks.
After the 10-point loss in the first frame, Chattanooga came out hot in the second set. With freshman Catherine Chason (Alpharetta, Ga.) on the serve, UTC forced the Cougars to take an early timeout after building a 5-0 lead.
Charleston was able to pull the match within three and put pressure on Chattanooga throughout the rest of the set. The Cougars eventually tied the frame at 24, but a strong kill from freshman Sarah Batterton (Colbert, Wash.) and an attacking error gave the Mocs the two points they needed, 26-24, to tie the match 1-1 going to the intermission.
At the break, UTC had blocked five Cougar attacks, Gainer downing three and senior Christina Teter (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) with one solo block. Senior Paula Passmore (Merritt Island, Fla.) led the ground game with nine digs, and Batterton was the Mocs offensive leader with five kills.
Despite a tight back-and-forth matchup in the third set, the Mocs fell 25-20 after keeping the score neck-and-neck throughout most of the frame. Tied at 18, Charleston put up four big blocks to take a four-point advantage, the largest lead of the set. Before the four-point lead, the largest scoring margin was a three-point Mocs' lead.
Charleston put UTC away in the third set with a 10-3 run. The Chattanooga offense was held to a .061 hitting percentage, unable to avoid six Cougar blockers. Despite the tough defense, Batterton was able to down five kills in the losing stanza.
UTC dropped the fourth and final set of the match 25-14, falling 3-1 in the match. Chattanooga was unable to bounce back from a quick 5-1 lead taken by the Cougars to open up the final set.
The Mocs totaled nine team blocks, Gainer leading with six and Teter finishing with two. Batterton was Chattanooga's kills leader with 11, and Passmore led the defense with 23 digs. Junior Bridget Camacho (Cumming, Ga.) collected 37 assists.
"Every team except the national champions lose their final match," Head Coach Travis Filar said. "This was a great season and I am very proud of this team. This team will be one I will never forget. They worked hard and we reached our goal of making it to the tournament. While it would have been great to have won the tournament, I know we are headed in the right direction."
The Chattanooga season comes to an end with the Mocs posting their best record since going 17-16 overall, 12-6 in the SoCon, in 2008 for a third place finish in the SoCon North.