Lady Mocs ready for key match with Furman on Friday
Courtesy: GoMocs.com

Chattanooga volleyball is set for a key Southern Conference showdown on Friday night when they take on the Furman Paladins, the only Southern Conference team they have not beaten this season.

 

The Lady Mocs (16-11, 11-3) enter Friday night’s match having won their last three contests, most recently a 3-1 decision over Western Carolina on October 30 in Cullowhee, N.C. In that match, junior libero Lara Newberry (Chattanooga, Tenn.) posted a match-high 25 digs to break her own single season record of 736. She now has 754 digs on the season and currently holds the top three single-season marks in Chattanooga history with 736 in 2005 and 721 last season.

 

Senior Jamie Engel (Troy, Ill.) finished with a team-high ten kills and added 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.

 

Ball continues to lead the team with 4.68 kills and 0.83 blocks per game as well as a .327 hitting percentage while Chastain averages 10.97 assists per game. Ball is currently second in kills per game in the conference with an average of 4.85, and leads the SoCon with 262 kills, is second in points with 5.58 per game and is sixth in hitting percentage at .318. Senior outside hitter Jamie Engel (Troy, Ill.) notches 0.58 aces per game to place second in the conference in that category.

 

Newberry continues to be the top libero in the nation, leading the country with a 7.11 digs per game average and the Southern Conference with a 7.09 average.

 

As a team, the Lady Mocs continue to lead the nation in digs at 23.0 per game and the conference at 23.28. UTC also allows the third lowest hitting percentage in the Southern Conference, limiting opponents to a .152 percentage.

 

Furman (18-6, 11-3) has won five of their last six matches, with the one exception being a 3-2 loss to surging Appalachian State on October 23. The Paladins enter Friday night’s contest following a narrow 3-2 victory over Wofford on Tuesday evening. Earlier this season they notched a key win over Chattanooga, defeating the Lady Mocs 3-2 in Greenville, S.C.

 

Senior outside hitter Chibuzo Aguocha leads the way for Furman with averages of 4.11 kills and 2.98 digs per game while junior outside hitter Alison West adds 3.68 kills, 2.95 digs and 0.52 service aces per game. West also leads the Southern Conference in service aces with an average 0.69. Junior middle blocker Nicole Palazzo leads the conference with 1.48 blocks per game against Southern Conference foes and leads the Paladins with 1.46 blocks overall. She also adds 2.60 kills per game. Sophomore libero Stephanie Smith leads the team with 3.01 digs and is joined by junior libero Pamela Gehrke with 2.82 digs.

 

Furman holds the advantage in the all-time series, 30-19, and has won the last five meetings dating back to October 24, 2004. That stretch includes a 3-2 victory on October 6 of this year in Greenville, S.C. The last time Chattanooga defeated the Paladins was on November 21, 2003 when the Lady Mocs posted a 3-0 victory in the Southern Conference Tournament in Chattanooga.

 

First serve is set for Friday evening at 7 p.m. in Maclellan Gym.

 

NOTE

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

 

 

 

 

 

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