Newberry breaks own season record for digs in Lady Mocs 3-1 victory over Western Carolina



CULLOWHEE, N.C. Junior libero Lara Newberry (Chattanooga, Tenn.) posted a match-high 25 digs and freshman setter Bailee Chastain (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) recorded a match-high 43 assists and added 14 digs to lead Chattanooga (16-11, 11-3) to a 3-1 victory over Western Carolina (8-22, 3-12) in a Southern Conference volleyball match Tuesday evening in Cullowhee, N.C. The Lady Mocs defeated the Catamounts 26-30, 30-27, 30-21 and 30-25 for their third consecutive victory.


Western Carolina dominated the first half of Game 1, opening up leads of 14-5 and 19-9 behind the serving of sophomore setter Katie Hennessey, who posted three aces, before the Lady Mocs got into the game. Down ten points, Chattanooga eventually rallied to within 25-19 and 27-23 before back-to-back points brought WCU to game point, 29-23. UTC scored the next three points before falling 30-26 to give the Catamounts a 1-0 match lead.


Game 2 began much the same way that the first set had, with Western Carolina jumping out to a dominating lead, this time 12-4. The Lady Mocs had a run of their own this time, rattling off ten of the next eleven points, including seven straight, to take a 14-13 lead. From there it would be a tightly contested game as the Catamounts quickly tied the score at 14-14. The next several plays would feature three ties before WCU tallied seven of the next nine points to take a 25-20 lead.


Down by five points late in the match, and in jeopardy of going down 0-2 in the match, Chattanooga rallied to score ten of the final twelve points, including the final six, to collect a come-from-behind 30-27 victory.


With the match now tied, the Lady Mocs wasted little time in taking an advantage in Game 3, pulling out to leads of 15-9 and 21-11. A 6-2 mini-run brought the Catamounts to within 23-17 but they would get no closer as UTC rolled to a 30-21 victory, and a 2-1 match lead.


WCU would not go quietly in Game 4, battling out to leads of 9-5 and 13-10 early on before a 6-3 run by the Lady Mocs tied the score at 16-16. The two teams would deadlock twice more prior to the Catamounts pulling out to a 23-21 lead. Back-to-back points by UTC then tied the score at 23-23 before a kill by freshman middle blocker LaTonia Cunningham made the score 24-23. That would be the next to last point WCU would see as Chattanooga took control of the game with a 6-0 run, going up 29-24. Following a Western Carolina kill, senior middle blocker Julianna Martinez (Austin, Texas) put the game, and the match, away with a kill of her own for a 30-25 victory.


Hennessey led the offensive attack for the Catamounts, posting a triple-double with 13 kills, 41 assists and 18 digs while freshman outside hitter Jelena Jakovjevic posted a match-high 15 kills. Defensively, sophomore libero Liz Rondone finished with 21 digs and junior libero Liz McLauchlin added 10 digs. Senior middle blocker Meredith Harmon added 12 kills on the day.


For Chattanooga, senior outside hitter Jamie Engel (Troy, Ill.) led the way with a match-high 10 kills to go along with 14 digs while freshman outside hitter Aurore Kullak (Beloeil, Belgium) finished with 13 digs. Senior middle blockers Leslee Ball (Sycamore, Ill.) and Sarah Bass (Baton Rouge, La.) added nine and eight digs respectively.


With her 25 digs, Lara Newberry continued her record setting season as she broke her own Chattanooga single season digs mark with 754 on the season. She continues to lead the nation with an average of 7.11 digs per game.


The Lady Mocs will next be in action when they return home for a special Friday night contest with Furman. The Paladins are the only Southern Conference team that Chattanooga has not beaten this season. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Maclellan Gym.



Due to ongoing construction on Mabel Avenue there will be a higher level of traffic congestion around Maclellan Gym. Please plan accordingly.




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