CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team swept Samford 3-0 Wednesday night at Maclellan Gym to claim its second Southern Conference victory of the season, improving UTC to 2-3 in conference play. The 3-0 win over the Bulldogs is Chattanooga’s first victory in the Southern Rail Rivalry since 2010 when the Mocs claimed a 3-1 match in Birmingham, Ala.
“It’s a huge win,” Head Coach Travis Filar said. “We hope that it is a season-defining win that gives us the confidence that we’ve been lacking at times. And we got a win against a very good team. They are a well-coached team and we really earned this win. I couldn’t be more proud than our student-athletes.”
Sophomore Briana Reid (Houston, Texas) was Chattanooga’s offensive power house Wednesday evening, leading the Mocs’ attackers with 12 kills and only one error. Her .393 attacking percentage was second only to sophomore Lauren Gainer (Boca Raton, Fla.) as the middle blocker recorded seven kills, zero errors and a .438 hitting percentage. Combined, the sophomores totaled 44 swings. Gainer also doubled as a wall to Samford attacks, downing seven assisted blocks and one solo block.
Junior Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) and sophomore Catherine Chason (Alpharetta, Ga.) split the defensive workload, each garnering 14 digs, while Chason led the Mocs with 19 assists. Freshman setter Anne Bachmann (Lincoln, Neb.) followed closely with 12 assists.
Chattanooga took the first set 28-26 as the night’s dramatics began right out of the gate. Reid and freshman Kendall Sexton (Orlando, Fla.) each managed four kills in the set as Reid recorded a .400 hitting percentage and Sexton registered a .500. Despite being out-killed 19-18, five Samford errors compared to four UTC errors led to the Bulldogs’ downfall. A kill from Sexton for the 27th point and the final point coming on a Samford attacking error gave the Mocs a 1-0 lead.
The second set was claimed 25-23 and saw Reid add four more kills to her night’s total. The Mocs led the set with 13 kills but didn’t take the win without sweating it late in the frame. Samford went on a three-point run to pull within one point (21-20) of the Mocs before Filar called a timeout to settle the defense down. UTC went on to claim the next four of seven points, taking a 2-0 lead into intermission.
The Mocs put the match away in the third with a convincing 25-17 routing in the final frame. Chattanooga went on three rallies of three-or-more points in a row and committed just three errors as a team. The Mocs totaled 10 kills, led by four more kills by Reid.
“Our team believes we can compete with anybody,” Filar said. “We were able to put that fight into our game-time mentality tonight and we were successful. We did all the little things right. We passed well and it was one of the most balanced attacks we’ve had all season. Our attackers were so consistent and our setters gave them perfect sets to spike.”
With Chattanooga playing a midweek, it will play just one match over the weekend as the team heads to Davidson, S.C., for a matchup with the Wildcats. The Sunday match is set for 2 p.m.