CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Despite recording 70 points and managing a season-high of 84 digs, the Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team fell 3-2 Saturday night at Maclellan Gym to the Elon Phoenix. The 70-point effort is the second largest scoring total on the season for UTC with the most (81) coming against UAB Sept. 17 in Chattanooga.
“Our team fought hard and did a good job of pushing it to five sets,” Head Coach Travis Filar said. “Our inconsistency is what held us back tonight, what held us back Friday and what has been our downfall all season. If we can improve there, we will be where we want to be.”
The match looked very promising to Mocs fans as UTC jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the intermission. With identical scores of 25-22 in the first and second sets, the Chattanooga offense appeared unstoppable. The Mocs hit .400 in each of the first sets, totaling a match-high 16 kills in the first set and 10 in the second. Nearly flawless on attacks, Filar’s squad committed just two errors in the first half.
Junior Kasey Talley (Boiling Springs, S.C.) led the offensive attack with 12 kills, a season-high for the middle blocker and her first double-digit scoring effort of the year, and five blocks. Sophomore Lauren Gainer (Boca Raton, Fla.) connected for nine kills while also garnering five blocks.
Sophomore Catherine Chason (Alpharetta, Ga.) was one of five Mocs to record double-digit digs (10) while the defensive specialist pulled off a double-double with 22 assists to lead the team. Junior Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) led the defense with 22 digs and freshman Anne Bachmann (Lincoln, Neb.) was also issued a double-double with 14 assists and 14 digs.
Sadly for UTC, things went downhill from there. The scores from the first and second sets were reversed as Elon topped the Mocs 25-22 in the third set and claimed the fourth set 25-17 – the largest margin of victory on the night – as the Phoenix defense held UTC to 17 kills in the two frames. A .087 hitting percentage was the second lowest total of the night for Chattanooga and .025 in the fourth took the worst percentage.
A step up from their previous two sets, the deciding set came down to the wire. Chattanooga downed nine kills and hit .250 with only four errors to close out the night, but Elon – also totaling nine kills in the final frame – committed zero errors en route to the win in the Scenic City.
The loss drops the Mocs to 3-20 on the season with a 2-6 SoCon mark. The Phoenix improves to 13-11 with a 4-4 record in the league. UTC goes back to work Friday in Statesboro, Ga., as Georgia Southern hosts the Mocs at 6 p.m. Chattanooga wraps up the weekend in Charleston, S.C., taking on The Citadel at 4 p.m. Saturday.