Despite falling in back-to-back matches to begin the season, the Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team forced a five-set match against last season’s Southern Conference champions and NCAA participant while falling 0-3 to an ACC powerhouse. Chattanooga sustained a 3-2 loss to the College of Charleston and a sweep at the hands of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to open the season at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta, Ga.
The Mocs dropped their first match of the season after a heated five-set competition with the College of Charleston was decided with a 15-12 final frame. The Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a commanding 25-14 victory in the first set, but the Mocs battled back in the second to take a 25-21 win in the second. Charleston again controlled the tempo of the third set with a 25-12 win, but Chattanooga battled back in the fourth set with a nail-biting 27-25 set to take the match to a 2-2 tie. In the end, the Cougars bested UTC 3-2 with a 15-12 mark in the fifth frame.
College of Charleston put together four series of three-or-more points scored in a row against Chattanooga in the first set and dominated the third set with two five-point streaks against the Mocs. Chattanooga’s sets were won was UTC scored the first point of the set in both frames while CofC won the first point in all three of its victories.
Sophomore Briana Reid (Houston, Texas) led the Mocs offense with 15 kills and 53 attacks while posting her first double-double with 11 digs. Her 17.5 points were topped only by freshmen Allie Davenport (Tyrone, Ga.) as she recorded 18.0 points and 12 kills. Davenport and Reid were the only Mocs to record double-digit scores while freshman Anne Bachmann (Lincold, Neb.) set up 35 Chattanooga points from the setter position.
Sophomore Catherine Chason (Alpharetta, Ga.) collected 13 digs as she was awarded the spot at libero while defensive specialist Melissa Green (Boca Raton, Fla.) finished with 11 digs on the day.
Despite the loss, Saturday marks the first time since 2007 Chattanooga has taken at least two sets in a match from the Cougars. That was an Oct. 9 game at Maclellan Gym that the Mocs claimed as a 3-2 victory. It was also the last win against the former SoCon team.
"I was very impressed with our play," Head Coach Travis Filar said. "For the most part, we had three freshmen and four sophomores on the court against a very experienced team for most of the match. We battled and I am pround of how we performed. Now we have to turn our attention to Georgia Tech."
The Mocs did not fare as well against the Yellow Jackets though, falling in three straight sets (17-25, 20-25, 13-25) to conclude play on Friday. Chattanooga attackers were held to single-digit kills – Davenport leading the way with eight while sophomore Julimar Alvarado (San Juan, Puerto Rico) garnered seven – and the defense only recorded 37 total digs.
The loss dropped UTC to 0-2 to begin the season while Georgia Tech improved to 2-0 in its own tournament.
The Mocs have Saturday off before wrapping up the Yellow Jacket Invitational Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. against Florida A&M.