CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Senior middle blockers Leslee Ball (Sycamore, Ill.) and Julianna Martinez (Austin, Texas) combined for 28 kills and a .431 hitting percentage and freshman setter Bailee Chastain (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) posted a match-high 50 assists as Chattanooga, (17-12, 12-4) defeated Wofford (9-20, 2-14) in a Southern Conference volleyball match Sunday afternoon in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Lady Mocs dropped the Terriers 30-11, 24-30, 30-21 and 30-19 to collect their 12th conference victory.
Chattanooga was outstanding in the first game as they quickly charged out to leads of 11-2 and 16-4 before rolling on to a dominating 30-11 victory. The Lady Mocs posted a .480 hitting percentage with 14 kills in the first frame, with Ball accounting for five of those. Wofford did not register a point off of their serve in Game 1, tallying all of their points off of rotations.
The second game saw the Terriers come alive, however, jumping out to early leads of 6-2 and 9-4. With their lead reduced to 9-7, Wofford proceeded to score seven of the next eight points, including five in a row, to extend to a 16-8 lead. At that point, Chattanooga got back in the game, scoring six straight points to pull to within 16-14. That would be as close as they would get though, as the Terriers maintained their lead to hold on for a 30-24 victory to tie the match at 1-1.
The Lady Mocs opened Game 3 with a 14-8 lead before Wofford rallied to within 15-12 behind a 4-0 run. Chattanooga pushed their lead to up to 21-16 before extending to a 27-18 advantage and powering to a 30-21 victory and a 2-1 match lead.
The Terriers started strong in Game 4, taking a 9-7 lead. An 8-1 run by the Lady Mocs erased that advantage and gave them a 15-10 lead. With the score at 16-12, Chattanooga delivered the decisive run of the match, rolling up ten of the next eleven points to extend to a dominating 26-13 lead. From there, the Lady Mocs closed out the game, and the match, with a 30-19 victory.
Sophomore setter Joanna Suddath set up the Terriers offense with 39 assists and added 13 digs while freshman outside hitter Stacy Byrd paced the Wofford hitters with 14 kills. She was joined in double-digits by sophomore middle blocker Lindsey Richardson who finished with 12 kills. Defensively, Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Palmer led the way with a team-high 15 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Palmer and sophomore outside hitter Shana Hughes each added 14 digs.
For Chattanooga, Leslee Ball led the offensive attack with 16 kills and hit for a .379 percentage and added five blocks, while fellow senior Julianna Martinez recorded 12 kills off of a .500 percentage. Setting up the offense was freshman setter Bailee Chastain (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) who finished with 50 assists and 11 digs.
Manning the defense for the Lady Mocs was the nation’s leading libero, junior Lara Newberry (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who finished with a match-high 29 digs. Senior outside hitter Jamie Engel (Troy, Ill.) added 11 kills and 15 digs while senior outside hitter Kelsey Amundson (Houston, Texas) finished with 11 digs. As a team, Chattanooga finished the day with a .258 hitting percentage and posted 84 digs to continue leading the nation in the later category.
The Lady Mocs will wrap up the regular season on the road next weekend when they travel to UNC Greensboro on Saturday, November 10 for a 2 p.m. match and then to Elon for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday November, 11.
Prior to the match, Chattanooga honored six seniors playing their final home regular season match ... they are Jamie Engel, Kelsey Amundson, Sarah Bass, Julianna Martinez, Bethany Herndon and Leslee Ball ... Game 1 was played in a season-low 14 minutes and featured the lowest point total (11) the Lady Mocs have allowed in a 30-point game all season.