Freshman registered 40 digs during the match
Western Carolina (13-19, 8-8 SoCon)
Chattanooga (5-25, 3-12 SoCon)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball team completed the regular season losing a five-set match to Western Carolina at Maclellan Gym on Sunday, 3-2 (25-27, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 15-12). Freshman libero Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) tallied a career-high 40 digs for the Mocs, which is the highest total for a Chattanooga player since Lara Newberry set the single-match mark with 51 against Wofford on Oct. 11, 2008.
"We need Melissa to cover a lot of court and she does," said head coach Travis Filar. "She played phenomenally today and ran the back row really well. She bring a lot of energy with how hard she plays."
Offensively, Chattanooga (5-16, 3-13 SoCon) had three players in double-digit kills led by sophomore outside Jennifer Kuroski (Acworth, Ga.) with 19, while juniors middle blocker Christina Teter (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) and outside hitter Heather Parman (Ooltewah, Tenn.) contributed 13 and 14 kills, respectively against Western Carolina (13-19, 8-8 SoCon).
"I was really proud of how we fought for most of the match," said Filar. "Unfortunately, it was not enough and I think that if we are as focused in that fourth set at the beginning, then we really take control and have an opportunity to win in four because we knew that the pressure was on them."
Recording her fifth-straight double-double was sophomore setter Bridget Camacho (Cumming, Ga.) with a career-best 55 assists and 11 digs. Freshman middle blocker Kasey Talley (Boiling Spring, S.C.) contributed nine kills during the match with junior outside Meagan Ernd (Munster, Ind.) and Camacho generating five kills each.
In addition to the 40 digs by Green, sophomore Tess Kosycarz (Temecula, Calif.), Kuroski and Camacho each notched at least 10 digs. Parman was one off from completing a double-double with kills and digs.
Leading the Mocs at the net was Teter with three solo blocks and two assisted as the team totaled 11.
Western Carolina was led by Carrie Minogue with 24 kills, while Caitlin Piechota totaled a double-double with 12 kills and 22 digs. Another double-double was achieve with 48 assists and 13 digs. Rebecca Stolz posted 11 block assists during the match.
The first set went back and forth as the teams played to 12 ties and six lead changes. Chattanooga did build a four-point lead as a block from Ernd and Talley ended a four-point rally, but the Catamounts came back to take the lead 20-18.
Chattanooga fought off a Western Carolina set point, 24-23, on a mistake from the Catamounts. It was unable to convert on the first set point, 25-24, but another opportunity at 26-25 allowed the Mocs to close out the frame on a service ace from Camacho.
To start the second set, the Catamounts built a 9-5 lead, but Chattanooga fought back to within one, 12-11 as a kill from Camacho highlighted the comeback before the deficit was stretched to four again. The seesaw battle continued between the two sides as the Mocs knotted the set up at 17-all using two kills from Teter and one from Camacho. Western Carolina would end the frame on a 7-1 run to even the match at one, 25-19.
Coming out of the intermission, the Mocs fell behind 10-5 before a rally brought them to within two, 13-12. Chattanooga found itself down six, 21-15, with Kosycarz on the service line. The Temecula, Calif., native stayed there for nine-straight serves as the Mocs registered two aces and kills from Teter (2) and Parman. Teter provided the Mocs with a 2-1 lead in the match with a block solo to end the frame 25-22.
"Tess [Kosycarz] has a great serve," said Flar. "What was just as impressive is that she is finally starting to defend better and made some nice plays in the back row."
During the fourth set, Chattanooga fell behind early 7-2 and then rallied to within two at 13-11 on an ace by Kosycarz. The score stayed within two until Western Carolina used a 3-1 run to take a 23-18 advantage. The Mocs would continue to battle coming within two on a block by Teter and kill by Kuroski before the Catamounts clinched the 25-22 victory.
In the theme of the afternoon, Western Carolina built a 5-2 lead to open the second set and built it to 10-5. With Green, on the service line the Mocs used kills from Talley and Teter along with a block from Ernd and Teter and an ace to knot the match at 10.
With the match tied at 12, the Catamounts used back-to-back kills and a block to close out the match, 25-12.
"It is one of those years that we faced a lot of adversity," said Filar. "Also, the bounces constantly did not go your way. We have gone through it and can learn from it, but I do feel like we fought and dis what we wanted to this weekend to build momentum going into the spring, which for us our spring season starts tomorrow."