CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - After opening the spring schedule with a win at Belmont, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball team opens its home slate against UAB on Sunday at 4 p.m. The match against the Blazers is the first of two contests at Maclellan Gym this spring with the second being an alumni match preceded by a free coaching clinic on April 17.
"It is going to be exciting to be home," said first-year head coach Travis Filar. "We are looking to gain community interest in the match as Chattanooga volleyball is off to a fresh start. I know that the student-athletes are excited to be home, and UAB is always a competitive team in Conference USA, so it will be a good test for us."
Filar has been impressed with the progress that the team has made in the past three weeks. The Lady Mocs recorded a 2-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-23) come-from-behind win at Belmont. Before the match, the teams went through numerous 3-on-3 drills that benefited their preparations this spring.
"Wednesday was our first opportunity to compete against another team," said Filar. "I was very pleased because we played hard and fought for every point. We were more disciplined defensively and that is one thing that we are going to continue to work on throughout the spring. It is important to do the little things better than our opponent. When we did that against Belmont, we were very successful.
"Tess [Kosycarz] made good decisions and ran our efficiently. When we were in system, Aneisha [Christie] and Ellie [Kuhn] in the middle and [Christina] Teter on the right side did a great job in scoring points for us. I thought that our outsides even though they did not get a lot of kills made better decisions and were smarter with the ball."
Junior right side Christina Teter (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) contributed a team-best 13 kills with just a single error for a .545 hitting pct. Distributing the ball to Teter and the rest of the Lady Mocs hitters was sophomore setter Tess Kosycarz (Temecula, Calif.), who registered 30 assists.
The Chattanooga defense was another bright spot as junior libero Paula Passmore (Merritt Island, Fla.) notched 17 digs and classmate Heather Parman added 10. Senior middle blocker Ellie Kuhn (San Antonio, Texas) paced the team with six blocks, while sophomore Aneisha Christie (Marietta, Ga.) had four.
"I thought that Heather played well defensively and in our passing game," said Filar. "She did not have the type of attacking game that she would have liked, but she will get better in that area and be consistent for us."
Filar added that he was impressed with the team's fight after dropping the first set and the communication that he saw on the court.
"I was impressed with how hard we competed and that we fought back after dropping the first set," said Filar. "Our communication as a team before, during and in-between plays was fantastic. Picking up our communication is one thing as a staff we have been trying to focus on during practices."
Chattanooga plays its only spring tournament on April 9 at UAB. The event in Birmingham, Ala., lasts the entire day as the Lady Mocs battle Jacksonville State, Alabama State, West Florida, Troy and the host Blazers.