Lady Mocs suffer damaging 3-0 loss to UNC Greensboro



GREENSBORO, N.C. Sophomore setter Lisa Falwell dished out a match-high 47 assists and sophomore outside hitter Branagan Fuller and junior middle blocker Kaitlyn Nortz combined for 27 kills to lead UNC Greensboro (17-14, 10-7) to a 3-0 victory over Chattanooga, (17-13, 12-5) in a Southern Conference volleyball match Saturday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C. The Spartans defeated the Lady Mocs 35-33, 30-26 and 30-28 to collect only their second victory in 23 meetings with Chattanooga.


Game 1 set the tone for the entire match as the two teams battled from the very beginning with UNC Greensboro claiming a 13-10 lead before the Lady Mocs rallied for a 19-16 advantage of their own. With the score tied at 19-19, UTC scored seven of the next eleven points to reclaim the lead, 26-23, only to see the Spartans rally with a 5-1 run to go ahead 28-27.


Chattanooga then notched the next two points to bring it to game point, 29-28, before UNCG did the same to make it 30-29 in their favor. The teams traded back-to-back points once again, making the score 32-31 Spartans. A kill by senior middle blocker Julianna Martinez (Austin, Texas) tied the match at 32-32 and another exchange of points made it 33-33. With that, UNC Greensboro would have no more, notching back-to-back points to put the game away, 35-33, and take a 1-0 match lead.


The second game was another battle as the Spartans pulled ahead 5-2 and Chattanooga answered with a 9-4 run to take an 11-9 lead. From there, the two teams would tie six times and be separated by no more than two points until UNCG took a 23-20 advantage. Despite back-to-back points by the Lady Mocs, they would soon extend that lead to 26-22. Chattanooga closed to within two points, 28-26, on a 4-2 run but would get no closer as the Spartans wrapped up the game with a 30-26 victory to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.


Game 3 was hotly contested with the Lady Mocs looking for a comeback and UNC Greensboro looking to close out an improbable victory. Trailing 5-3, the Spartans mounted a mini-run of 5-0 to pull ahead 8-5. This was only a precursor, however, as UNCG had a more impressive run in their bones with the score at 9-7. At that point they railed off nine straight points as part of a larger 10-1 run to take a commanding 19-8 lead.


Then it was Chattanooga’s turn. The Lady Mocs, facing a severe blow to their seeding for the Southern Conference Tournament, posted a massive 15-4 run to tie the score at 23-23. The teams then alternated points for the next six plays until UTC took a 27-26 lead on a kill by senior outside hitter Jamie Engel (Troy, Ill.). Back-to-back points UNC Greensboro gave them the lead, 28-27, before another Engel kill tied the score at 28-28. It would be the last point the Lady Mocs would get as the Spartans took the next two points to claim a 30-28 Game 3 victory as well as a 3-0 match victory.


In addition to Fawell’s assists, the Spartans also got a match-high tying 14 kills and nine blocks from Nortz and 13 kills and 15 digs from Fuller. Senior outside hitter Katherine Hart rounded out the offensive attack while sophomore libero Catherine Hanners led the defense with a match-high tying 19 digs. She was joined by Fawell with 13 digs and senior outside hitter Lauren Keiser with 10 digs and six blocks.


Engel led the way for the Lady Mocs as she posted a match-high tying 14 kills to go along with 10 digs and three service aces while junior libero Lara Newberry (Chattanooga, Tenn.) paced the defense with a match-high tying 19 digs.


Freshman setter Bailee Chastain (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) posted 38 assists while senior middle blocker Leslee Ball (Sycamore, Ill.) added eight kills and nine digs and senior middle blocker Sarah Bass (Baton Rouge, La.) finished with eight kills. Freshman outside hitter Aurore Kullak (Beloeil, Belgium) added 10 digs on the afternoon.


The Lady Mocs will wrap up the regular season on Sunday when they face Elon at 1 p.m.



The loss is Chattanooga’s first to UNC Greensboro since 2002 when the Spartans defeated UTC 3-0 on October 27 of that year.





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