After hosting a Tuesday night matchup at Maclellan Gym against UAB, the Chattanooga Mocs hit the road again for their final tournament of the season before beginning Southern Conference play. UTC travels to Oxford, Miss., Friday to take on Southern Mississippi, Louisiana-Lafayette and Ole Miss at the Rebel Classic.
The four-team tournament begins Friday with Head Coach Travis Filar's squad squaring off against Southern Mississippi at 1 p.m. Their second Conference USA opponent in as many matches, the Mocs are 0-1 against the Golden Eagles all-time. The last time the two teams met up was in 2011 as Southern Miss defeated UTC 3-0 in three sets at the Southern Miss Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss.
The Golden Eagles are 9-3 this season while going 4-1 at neutral sites. Southern Miss is led by Quinci Hayward as she has garnered a team-best 164 kills and averages 4.32 kills per set. The defense is guided by libero Mary Pursell, averaging 5.11 digs per set with 194 digs on the season. Setter Kristen Flemming leads the Eagles with 440 assists.
Chattanooga then takes on Louisiana-Lafayette at 5:30 p.m. for the first time in program history. Ragin’ Cajuns are 8-3 this season with wins over Jackson State, Alcorn State and UNC Greensboro. The Sun Belt member is 4-0 in neutral gyms thus far.
Louisiana-Lafayette is led by attacker Lavinia Tataran. The senior tops the stat page with 98 kills and 258 attacking attempts on the year. She is second in points with 109.0 to Sara Mossakowski who has 113.0 on the season with 18.0 blocks.
The Mocs wrap up the weekend against the hosting Ole Miss Rebels at Noon on Saturday. The 7-3 Rebels are 0-1 this season against Southern Conference teams, falling 3-1 to Georgia Southern earlier in the season. Ole Miss holds a 1-0 all-time record over UTC, defeating the Mocs 3-0 in 1992.
Ole Miss is 2-1 at home this season and looks to Ty Laporte for offensive support. The six-foot sophomore leads the Rebels with 85 kills and is followed closely in the offensive stats by senior Kara Morgan with 84 kills.
The Mocs enter Southern Conference play the following weekend as they take on Furman and Wofford in South Carolina.