With matching 3-8 Southern Conference records coming into Sunday’s match, Chattanooga and Davidson went head-to-head to decide who would inch closer to qualifying for the SoCon Tournament. A 3-1 win Sunday afternoon put Davidson in sole possession of ninth in the league standings while UTC dropped to 10th, putting the Mocs two spots down from qualifying with four games left in the season.
“This is a tough one to lose at home,” Head Coach Travis Filar said. “Knowing that we are on the outside looking in on the tournament, we knew that this match was going to be a big one. I thought Davidson played very steady and they are very well coached. We didn’t make adjustments when we needed to, but our kids fought hard.”
Chattanooga dropped the first set of the match 25-16 before coming alive in the second frame to tie the match 1-1 with a 25-19 victory in the second set. The Mocs held Davidson to its worst hitting-set of the match with a .061 percentage. The Wildcats committed 11 errors in the set while Chattanooga downed 13 kills and made just two mistakes.
Junior Kasey Talley (Boiling Springs, S.C.) came up with two big solo blocks within three possessions of each other to propel the Mocs to their set-win. Talley led the defense with six of its 10.0 blocks on the afternoon. Sophomore Lauren Gainer (Boca Raton, Fla.) followed up with four assisted.
The Wildcats came out of the locker room to claim an extra-point win in the third set, 27-25 - This despite Chattanooga having its best offensive showing of the match. UTC spiked 19 kills – a match best between both teams – and a team-best .263 with only four errors.
Talley, along with leading the Mocs with six blocks, paced the offense with 10 kills and totaled 14.0 points on the day. Sophomore Sarah Batterton (Colbert, Wash.) registered 10.5 point to finish second with nine kills. Both Sophomore Julimar Alvarado (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and freshman Allie Davenport (Tyrone, Ga.) totaled nine kills and 9.5 points.
The Mocs would eventually fall 25-18 in the fourth and final set of the match to drop to 4-23 on the season.
“We gave a great team too many points,” Filar said. “We had opportunities to win the third set but it didn’t look like we were very aggressive. It may have been a different story if we won the set and took some momentum in the fourth.”
The Mocs are back in action Saturday as they take on Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., at 7 p.m. Chattanooga wraps up the final road trip of the season Sunday at 3 p.m. as it’s hosted by Western Carolina.