CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball team wrapped up its competitive spring schedule on April 17 with an Alumni Match. The event was an opportunity for current and former players to meet up and play at Maclellan Gym. A photo gallery from the match can be accessed by clicking the link at the top of the page.
One of the most notable Chattanooga Volleyball alumni, Catherine Neely, was on hand to coach the team composed of former players. Neely is the current coach at East Ridge High School and has totaled over 1,000 career victories including a National High School Coach of the Year award.
"I was really happy that we had such a good group of alumni come back," said first-year head coach Travis Filar. "For Catherine [Neeley] to come back after playing volleyball at UTC and coach that group was really special. It was an honor for the program to have her back. We had 12 former players play in the match and you could tell that they still love the game and miss their experience of playing college volleyball."
As the match progressed, Filar could tell that the teams were pretty even as the crowd on hand at Maclellan Gym was entertained by some long rallies.
"A special thing that I saw during the match was some extremely long rallies," said Filar. "Just back and forth action as both teams came up with some phenomenal saves and digs. Fortunately, we were able to win a majority of those long rallies, but to have that level of play was really exciting."
Similar to the way the spring went, the Lady Mocs had some ups and downs on the afternoon that the team still has to work through in its final week of spring practice.
"We played well at times," said Filar. "But, it just goes back to things that I have been saying this spring. When we play with consistency in the way we fight for points with a high energy-level and competitiveness, then we are a very tough team to beat."
Chattanooga has just three practices left this spring before the team works individually over the summer in preparation for the fall training camp and season.
"It is still all about getting better and continuing to stay the course by trusting the process," said Filar. "We have to come in each day this week and get better by continuing to grow the culture and competitiveness in the gym."
Prior to the alumni match, Filar hosted a free coaches clinic at Maclellan Gym, where coaches that guide high school and club teams from around the area saw some of the drills that the Lady Mocs have incorporated in their practices this spring.
"It was so awesome to see that support from over 20 coaches from the area come out for the clinic," said Filar. "The coaches that came have an idea on where Chattanooga volleyball is going. I could tell that they are excited about growing volleyball within their programs and teams because they want to learn more about the sport that they love and coach. This says a lot about them and the growth and development of volleyball in the surrounding area and city of Chattanooga."