CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball team was stout on defense today giving the offense plenty of opportunities in a sweep over Western Carolina, 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 28-26). Three Lady Mocs junior Courtney Barnes (Franklin, Tenn.) and sophomores Ellie Kuhn (San Antonio, Texas) and Laura Brock (Chattanooga, Tenn.) recorded at least 10 kills improving the squad to 12-15, 4-10 SoCon, while the Catamounts fell to 3-24, 0-13.
"Cassie (Conner) was very strong on defense," said head coach Lisa Rhodes. "I think that was huge. Paula (Passmore) had a nice match for us. Then, Meagan (Ernd) on the outside came up with some great digs and swings. It was important to win in three as we will have a lot of time to rest and prepare for Appalachian State."
The Lady Mocs dug up 75 attacks with freshman libero Paula Passmore (Merritt Island, Fla.) leading the match with 28. Freshman outside hitter Meagan Ernd (Munster, Ind.) registered a season-high 18 digs, while senior Cassie Conner (Willow Springs, Ill.) added 11 to the defensive effort.
Middle blockers Barnes and Kuhn dominated the net recording 13 and 11 kills, respectively, and the two combined for only a single error. Kuhn recorded three block assists, which jumps her to third in block assists with 96 this season. The record is an even 100 set by Heather Gibson in 1991.
With 10 kills, Brock led the outside hitters and added six digs, while Ernd generated eight kills with many of them coming at opportune times.
Not only was Conner tremendous defensively, but she paced the Lady Mocs with 20 assists. Chastain helped to anchor the team's 6-2 offense adding 19 assists.
"We served tough. We had more aces then them, which was nice to see," said Rhodes. "Even when we did not get aces, I think we took them out of their system. It created more opportunities for our defense."
In the first set, Chattanooga hit an impressive .366 with 17 kills and two errors. The Lady Mocs used 11 kills by middle blockers, while Kuhn had seven of them. The first 21 points were split between the two squad, but Chattanooga took a commanding 19-13 lead after a 6-1 run and finished with a 25-20 victory.
Carrying the momentum from the first, the Lady Mocs continued hitting smartly at .303. The squad totaled 13 kills on only three errors and took advantage of seven Catamount mistakes. Already leading 12-8, Chattanooga went on a 7-0 run and eventually took the set, 25-15.
Coming out of the break, the team played through a couple of rough stretches and pulled out a 28-26 victory, where it seemed Western Carolina would not go down without a fight. The Lady Mocs committed 11 errors, but were able to overcome them by totaling 17 kills.
Chattanooga welcomes Appalachian State Sunday for Senior Day at 2 p.m. Before the match, the squads only senior Cassie Conner will be honored. The Lady Mocs close the regular season on Nov. 14 at Davidson.
Chattanooga def. Western Carolina 25-20,25-15,28-26
Western Carolina (3-24, 0-13) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Rebecca Stoltz
9-0-3; Kara Lynzee Brooks 7-1-0; Abbey Scroggins 7-0-4; Amanda Kerr
5-0-1; Carrie Minogue 3-0-3; Brittany Lysik 2-0-0; Liz Rondone 1-0-0;
Amanda Chaparro 1-0-0; Katie Hennessey 1-0-0; Emily Franklin 0-1-0;
Totals 36-2-6.0. (Assists) - Katie Hennessey 23. (Dig leaders) - Liz
Rondone 18; Kara Lynzee Brooks 12; Katie Hennessey 8
Chattanooga (12-15, 4-10) (Kills-aces-blocks) - BARNES, Courtney
13-0-2; KUHN, Ellie 11-0-3; BROCK, Laura 10-1-0; ERND, Meagan 8-1-0;
SCOTT, Jessica 3-0-2; PARMAN, Heather 1-0-2; CONNER, Cassie 1-2-0;
PASSMORE, Paula 0-2-0; Totals 47-6-6.0. (Assists) - CONNER, Cassie 20;
CHASTAIN, Bailee 19. (Dig leaders) - PASSMORE, Paula 28; ERND, Meagan
18; CONNER, Cassie 11
Site: Chattanooga, Tenn. (Maclellan Gym)
Date: Nov 07, 2009 Attend: 270 Time: 1:24