CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team defeated its alumni on Sunday afternoon at Maclellan Gym, but that wasn't the most important aspect of the event. The Mocs dedicated the match to the family of rising senior Heather Parman (Ooltewah, Tenn.) as her father, Eddie, continues to battle cancer following a bone marrow transplant in January (for more information about the battle see the link above to the article from Nooga.com).
"We wanted to dedicate our alumni match to the Parman family, especially Eddie," said head coach Travis Filar. "He has been an inspiration to us all this spring, fighting his battle with cancer."
Chattanooga wore blue shirts with the No. 7 of the Mocs' Parman, but inside the number was a green ribbon to represent Eddie's fight and battle following the bone marrow transplant. The bone-marrow transplant process has been highlighted on the UTC campus as Dr. Carolyn Thompson, the wife of Chancellor Roger Brown, lost her battle in mid-March.
"I think the kids wanted to fight and inspire him because he has been such a super fan, supporter and inspiration to the program, Heather and her teammates," said Filar. "It was a special day to end the spring and do something special for the Parman family."
The Mocs welcomed a strong contingent of alumni that battled and put together a solid effort on the court. It was a time though to honor and recognize the history of the program and allow those student-athletes to connect with the current players on the team.
"I really could not have been prouder of the way our team finished this spring," said Filar. "We were able to battle through a lot of adversity towards the end of the spring with injuries. Our kids came back and had a great showing in front of a nice home crowd."
Coach Filar believed that the team has grown through the spring campaign and learned from mistakes made in the Georgia Tech and Lee matches going into its alumni match.
"Everything came together and we played at a really high level," stated Filar. "We were in system and passed extremely well. That provided us with great opportunities for Christina Teter to just attack."
Making a strong impression on the second-year head coach was the play of junior outside Jennifer Kuroski (Acworth, Ga.) and Parman in their execution when the team was out of system. They were able to take care of the ball, but stayed aggressive with their attacks and kept the ball in play.
The passing and defensive effort was led by the strong back-row play of senior libero Paula Passmore (Merritt Island, Fla.), sophomore defensive specialist Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) and senior Meagan Ernd (Munster, Ind.).
"I really thought that Paula made some spectacular defensive plays," said Filar. "We had a couple of missed assignments in the front row, leading to some open net opportunities, and Paula was able to get those balls, keeping the play alive. She was able to pass really well and got us in system a lot."
The composure and consistency of the team from the first to final point was an area of strong emphasis for coach Filar and the coaching staff this spring. He wanted to the team to find a middle ground, where it could play at a very consistent level.
"It was nice to see the things we were working and stressing on in the spring like being able to control our energy and emotions and staying consistent and focused were things that could be taken from the match," said Filar. "I loved our effort, energy and focused play yesterday. We did a great job of remaining focused and staying consistent when things got crazy on the other side of the net."
The Mocs have now completed their spring schedule and will return as a team in August for preseason camp and preparations for the 2012 season.