Lady Mocs begin busy week with trip to Western Carolina on Tuesday

Chattanooga volleyball continues its quest for the top spot in the Southern Conference this week with three matches, including a key match-up with Furman on Friday, November 2 and Senior Day on Sunday, November 4. UTC kicks off the week with a trip to Western Carolina for a 7 p.m. match tomorrow evening.


The Lady Mocs (15-11, 10-3) enter this week after collecting two more conference wins, defeating The Citadel 3-1 and Georgia Southern 3-1, to push their record to 10-3 in the Southern Conference and remain in the chase for the conference’s top seed. Against the Bulldogs, senior middle blocker Leslee Ball (Sycamore, Ill.) posted a career-high 31 kills and a .475 hitting percentage, as well as five blocks, while senior outside hitter Jamie Engel (Troy, Ill.) finished with 17 kills and a team-high tying 21 digs.


Freshman setter Bailee Chastain (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) tied her career-high with 63 assists as she posted her fourth total of 49 or more assists in only seven matches this season. Against Georgia Southern, Ball continued her hot hitting, pounding 24 kills with 13 digs and four blocks while Chastain added 56 assists to help the Lady Mocs to a 2-0 week.


Ball continues to lead the team with 4.77 kills and 0.81 blocks per game as well as a .337 hitting percentage while Chastain averages 11.00 assists per game. Ball is currently second in kills per game in the conference with an average of 5.06, and leads the SoCon with 253 kills, is second in points with 5.73 per game and is fourth in hitting percentage at .336. Senior outside hitter Jamie Engel (Troy, Ill.) notches 0.58 aces per game to place second in the conference in that category.


Junior libero Lara Newberry (Chattanooga, Tenn.) continues to be the top libero in the nation, leading the country with a 7.15 digs per game average and the Southern Conference with a 7.16 average.


As a team, the Lady Mocs continue to lead the nation in digs at 23.1 per game and the conference at 23.54. UTC is also tied for the second lowest hitting percentage allowed in the Southern Conference, limiting opponents to a .153 percentage.


Western Carolina (8-20, 3-10) enters this week’s match having lost nine of their last ten matches, including eight in a row at one point, and in ninth place in the Southern Conference. The Catamounts posted a 3-1 victory over Wofford on October 24 before dropping a 3-0 decision to Georgia Southern this past Sunday.


WCU is led offensively by senior middle blocker Meredith Harmon’s 2.94 kills and sophomore setter Katie Hennessey’s 8.99 assists per game. Hennessey also adds 2.63 digs, 1.78 kills and 0.41 blocks per game. Defensively, sophomore libero Liz Rondone accounts for 5.27 digs per game, and is second in the conference behind Newberry with a 5.54 average, while freshman middle blocker LaTonia Cunningham averages a team-high 1.09 blocks and is fourth in the SoCon with a 1.29 blocks per game average.


Western Carolina holds the advantage in the all-time series, 30-26, despite having lost to the Lady Mocs 3-0 on September 18 of this year. Chattanooga has won the last four meetings, all by 3-0 scores, dating back to October 18, 2005.


First serve at the Ramsey Regional Center in Cullowhee, N.C. is set for 7 p.m. tomorrow evening.




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