Courtesy: Dale Rutemeyer/GoMocs.com
Freshman notched a match-high 22 digs.
Furman (16-7, 9-2 SoCon)
Chattanooga (5-21, 3-8 SoCon)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team dropped its match against Furman on Thursday night at Maclellan Gym in straight sets, 3-0 (25-23, 25-12, 25-12). Freshman libero Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) led the Mocs defensive effort with 19 digs.
"I felt like we were the more aggressive team coming out in the first set," said head coach Travis Filar. "It showed because at one point we built a four-point lead, but they just ended up making more plays at the end than us.
"We had some good things going for us in that first set. With our service pressure, we forced them out of system."
Leading the Chattanooga (5-21, 3-8 SoCon) offense was sophomore outside Jennifer Kuroski (Acworth, Ga.) with nine kills. Middle blockers junior Christina Teter (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) and sophomore Aneisha Christie (Alpharetta, Ga.) each registered five kills, while junior outside Heather Parman (Ooltewah, Tenn.) contributed four.
The offense was run by sophomore setter Bridget Camacho (Cumming, Ga.) with 21 assists and added three digs against Furman (16-8, 9-2 SoCon).
Chattanooga did block down four attacks led by the trio of junior outside Meagan Ernd (Munster, Ind.), Christie and Teter.
"Furman is a great team," said Filar. "They are playing as consistent as any team in the conference. I knew that we had to be mistake free and disciplined. We knew two of their better hitters are on their left side. They become really effective when they pass the ball well and can distribute the ball to their middles and right side. "
Furman had a balanced attack as six players had five or more kills paced by Kelley Kirby with a double-double of 10 kills and 18 assists. Natalie Braun also totaled a double-double recording 16 assists and 15 digs. Carolyn Nicoleti posted a match-high 21 digs.
The Paladins earned a 4-1 lead to start the first set, but Chattanooga used a 9-1 run to take an 11-6 advantage as Camacho and Teter each served two aces. The Mocs stayed ahead up, 21-19, before Furman notched four-straight points and eventually closed on the frame, 25-23.
"We knew that the balls were going to their outsides because they were passing poorly," said Filar. "We did not have a disciplined block when we knew where the attack was coming from and did not defend very well allowing them to comeback in the set."
Chattanooga with only nine kills was able to overcome 17 Furman kills by committing just four mistakes and taking advantage of four receiving errors.
In the second set, Furman began on a 10-3 run and cruised to a 25-12 victory along with a 2-0 lead in the match.
"I wish that some of those longer rallies occurred because we took such aggressive swings, but those long rallies felt like both teams were just taking swings to keep the play alive," said Filar. "When you have long rallies, that means that you are playing great defense and that was our strength when we went on our in-conference run [against UNCG, Elon and Citadel]."
Once again, the Paladins built a 10-3 advantage before the Mocs fought back to within five, 11-6 on a kill by Christie. Furman would go on to secure the match with a 25-12 victory.
"I told our student-athletes at the beginning of the week that I am not going to sugar coat it," said Filar. "We have the first place team in the south and the first place team in the north coming in. For us to have a fighting chance, we have to fight like crazy and play very disciplined and efficient volleyball."
The Southern Rail Rivalry continues on Friday night at 7 p.m. as Chattanooga welcomes Samford to Maclellan Gym. Links to live stats and subscription-based video can be found on the volleyball schedule page of GoMocs.com.
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