Lady Mocs Dig Pink Match Set for Wednesday against Rival Samford

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball team returns to Maclellan Gym on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to "Pack the Mac" against Samford. The match serves as the Lady Mocs Dig Pink and Camp Reunion/Youth Night as the team will conduct a post-match autograph session following the event. Admission is free to all Chattanoga home volleyball matches.

Parking for the event can be found in the garage off of fifth street and at any of the surface lots at Maclellan Gym

Numerous promotional events including 100 pink T-shirts, 250 rally towels and 500 pink wristbands have been scheduled for the first installment of the Southern Rail Rivalry Matchup, a year-long series with Samford, that kicks off on Wednesday. The Sugar Mocs, Cheerleaders and Pep band will be on hand to rally the student and create a frenzy environment.

The match serves as the McDonald's Mocs Maniacs Match, where students recieve double points for attending and free pizza and popcorn will be given to the first 100 dedicated students.

The Lady Mocs continue a three-match homestand on Saturday against Western Carolina at 7 p.m. followed by Appalachian St. on Sunday at 5 p.m. against Appalachian St. Both matches serve as Residence Rumbles as on-campus students are encouraged to attend as well as McDonald's Mocs Maniacs events.

GAME #20 | SAMFORD (6-11, 0-3 SOCON) at CHATTANOOGA (5-14, 0-3 SOCON)

UTC all-time vs. Samford: 20-14
Series History: The Bulldogs hold a slight edge in the series, but have taken the seven matchups dating back to 2004. The series began in 1989 with Chattanooga taking six of the first nine meetings.
Scouting Report: The Eagles opened the SoCon slate with losses to UNGG and Elon before dropping a tightly contested five-set match to Davidson last weekend. Samford has recorded victories against Louisiana, Tennessee Tech, Northwestern St., Troy, UMKS and Grambling St., while dropping matches to Rice, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Syracuse, North Texas and Arkansas. Lauren Hutchinson, Katie Murphy, Elizabeth Neisler and Allie Bettinger each average over 2.00 kills per set. Setting the ball to the hitters is Hillary Fountain registering 7.55 assists per set. Alexis Bauer leads the defensive efforts compiling 3.37 digs per set, while Hutchinson and Murphy record 0.74 and 0.7 4 blocks per set, respectively. Head coach Derek Shroeder is in his third season guiding the Bulldogs.

The Lady Mocs come home to host their Dig Pink match for breast cancer awareness and look to "Pack the Mac" in search of breaking the volleyball attendance record of 372. The match also serves as Chattanooga's Camp Reunion Night as the team conducts as post-match autograph session following the Samford contest. It is the final mid-week match for the Lady Mocs as the Southern Rail Rivalry Matchup, a year-long series with the Bulldogs, begins.

Chattanooga ended a four-match losing skid on Oct. 3 with its 3-0 victory against Savannah St. Sophomore outside Kirsten Beasley paced the Lady Mocs with a season-high nine kills and 10 digs. Running the offense was freshman setter Tess Kosycarz with 25 assists, while sophomore libero Paula Passmore added 13 digs.

After dropping three road matches against UNCG, Elon and Georgia Southern, the Lady Mocs are looking to pick up their first SoCon victory of the season against the Bulldogs. Chattanooga has three opportunities at home starting with the Samford on Wednesday followed by hosting Western Carolina and Appalachian St. this weekend. Samford also enters the match on Wednesday winless in the league.

Freshman outside Jennifer Kuroski, one of the main offensive threats for the Lady Mocs, received freshman of the week recognition from the Southern Conference on Sept. 27. To open the SoCon slate, Kuroski posted 15 kills while hitting .325 during the two weekend contests at UNCG and Elon, while adding 11 digs. She totaled nine kills without an error against the Spartans, good enough for a season-best .529 attacking percentage. The Acworth, Ga. native added six kills and seven digs against the Phoenix. Kuroski was the third Lady Moc this season to be honored by the conference along with senior middle blocker Courtney Barnes (Offensive - Sept. 13) and Passmore (Defensive - Sept. 20)

Barnes has compiled a .341 attacking percentage this season, which puts her 95th in the nation. For her career, Barnes has compiled a .305 hitting percentage during her four seasons with Chattanooga and is third all-time behind Carmen Walker (1996-99) at .306. Myra Bullibeau (1983-84) is the leader with a .324 percentage. She has tallied 698 kills and would need to reach 966 to gain entrance into the top 10.

Barnes has entered the block solos career chart with 46 at ninth passing Lisa Blevins (1985-88) and Mary Simpson (1985-88) tied with 41. She also moved past Blevins and Jenny Kulwinski (1996-99) with 222 total blocks, tied with Carrol Reedu (1997-00). Next up on the chart is Robin Jackson (1991-95) with 233 total block. Barnes has also overtaken Sarah Bass with 176 block assists.

Kuhn paces the team with 59 total blocks this season. She has compiled 202 in her career, 10th all-time, along with 178 blocks assists, which is ninth in front of teammate Barnes. Heather Strohl (1990-92) is seventh on the block assists list with 188. Kuhn set the Chattanooga block assist record last season with 103.

Senior setter Bailee Chastain has registered 340 assists so far this season, totaling 1,567 in her career. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native is now ninth on the UTC all-time assists charts passing Jenn Anderson (1999-00) with 1,467. Next up would be Michaela Huff (2005-08) with 1,581.

Passmore has recorded 380 digs this season. In her two year career, the Merritt Island, Fla., native has recorded 926, which is 90 shy of passing Kulwinski at 1,116 for 10th all-time. She is currently leading the Southern Conference with 5.43 digs per set and ranked 18th in the nation.

Following a 1-2 mark at the Country Inns & Suites Invitational, junior middle blocker Ellie Kuhn garnered all-tournament honors. She was the best all-around player for the Lady Mocs against UCF posting a team-high 12 kills and eight block assists. The block assists tied her career-high set against Louisiana Tech and Elon. She also posted seven kills on only one error for a .667 attacking percentage against Belmont to open the two-day event.

Passmore has led the match in digs in all but four this season and has hit the 30-dig plateau three times including a career-high 34 against Belmont, 31 against Troy and 30 against UCF. She has registered 380 digs so far this season, good enough to the lead the SoCon with a 5.43 average and ranks 18th nationally. As a team, the Lady Mocs have dug up 15.19 attacks per set, which is second in the conference and 11th nationally.

After a 8-25 and 23-25 losses to open the match against UCF, the Lady Mocs put together a performance to remember. After freshman setter Tess Kosycarz came in to speed up the offense, Chattanooga cut into the deficit with a 25-22 victory in set three. With the Knights up 24-21 in fourth set, the Lady Mocs came together and denied four match points to take a 28-26 victory to tie the match up. Kuhn posted four block assists in the final 10 points to help the Lady Mocs pull even. In the decisive fifth set, Chattanooga took control from the start scoring on eight of the first 10 rallies and cruising to a 15-8 victory. It was the third time this season that the Lady Mocs forced a fifth set after dropping the first two. The previous comeback attempts at North Florida and against Charleston Southern, were unsuccessful as UTC dropped the fifth set.

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