The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball team scored a 3-0 win over Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C., Friday night. The Mocs (13-17, 7-8 SoCon) topped the Catamounts (8-22, 4-11 SoCon) to earn a spot in the Southern Conference Tournament for the first time since the 2008 season.
UTC was led by freshman Briana Reid (Houston, Texas) who downed 13 kills and collected 12 digs en route to the Mocs victory. The double-double is Reid's sixth of the season and fourth in a row for the defensing SoCon Freshman of the Week.
Fellow freshman Sarah Batterton (Colbert, Wash.) finished with 11 kills, while senior Christina Teter (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) and freshman Lauren Gainer (Boca Raton, Fla.) were on the doorstep of double-digits with nine kills. Gainer posted a team-best .409 hitting percentage, committing no errors while taking 22 swings. Junior Bridget Camacho was Chattanooga's assists leader with 42 through three sets.
Senior Paula Passmore was Chattanooga's defensive leader with 26 digs while Reid and sophomore Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) each recorded 12 digs. Teter blocked four Catamount attacks, two assisted and two solo, and Batterton stood tall at the net with three kills.
The Mocs won the first set by the largest margin of the night, 25-21, while hitting .190 on offense. Chattanooga commanded the lead by as much as six points midway through the frame, but the Western Carolina offense was able to pull within one, 23-22. The Mocs were able to settle down and take a 1-0 set lead on a Heather Parman (Ooltewah, Tenn.) kill.
The Catamounts showed a spark before heading into the locker room for the intermission, forcing Chattanooga to score two extra points before falling 27-25. WCU's Jordan Timmerman kept the Catamounts alive with a kill to tie the second set up at 25 points. A kill from Reid gave the Mocs a one point advantage before a Western Carolina attacking error handed Chattanooga a 2-0 lead.
Chattanooga completed the three-set sweep with the third stanza, but a tough fight from WCU kept the Mocs on their toes. Despite leading from the start, a five-point lead was as far as UTC could stretch its advantage. Western Carolina kept the set neck-and-neck from mid-match until the end. A kill from Catamount Nicole Ford brought WCU within one point of the lead, 24-23, but Batterton ended Western Carolina's postseason aspirations with a kill to seal the win.
Chattanooga will wrap up the regular season Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in Boone, N.C., against the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Live stats are available for tomorrow night's match, and links to the live stats feed can be found on the Mocs schedule page.