Mocs Volleyball Falls Short In SoCon Tournament Opener

Friday, November 16, 2018
 The No. 7 seeded Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team saw its potential upset bid of No. 2 Samford fall short in a 3-1 (25-19, 15-25, 25-21, 25-11) battle during quarterfinal action in the Southern Conference Tournament inside Fleming Gymnasium on the campus of UNCG.

Chattanooga has been eliminated from championship contention and concludes the season with 10-20 overall record. Samford improves to 17-14 overall and advances to the semifinals tomorrow afternoon.

“Tough match for sure.
We all really felt confident going into the matchup, we definitely were prepared and it showed with how well we played the first three sets,” said head coach Travis Filar.

Ultimately, the difference was a 19-3 fourth set run from Samford after Chattanooga opened the set up with a 6-3 lead. The Mocs held a significant offensive and defensive advantage on the stat sheet through the first three sets, but couldn’t find its groove in the fourth.

Samford opened up the match with a close 25-19 victory in the first after attacking at an impressive .415 percentage. UTC dominated the second set, 25-15, after posting a .407 hitting percentage while holding the Bulldogs to a -.017 number. 

Much like the second set, Chattanooga recorded a highly potent offensive attack in the third with 19 kills at a .421 clip, but three service errors proved costly as Samford earned a 25-21 decision and took a 2-1 lead.

“To be honest, statistically after the third, we could have easily been up 2-1, but credit Samford on making enough plays at the end of both the first and second sets,” Filar added. The Bulldogs eventually rolled to a 25-11 win in the fourth to eliminate UTC.

The Mocs finished with 55 kills at a .293 attacking percentage, the highest percentage of the season since the season opening win over Belmont. UTC out-dug Samford by a 59-56 margin, but suffered the disadvantage in team blocks at 5.0-2.0.

Dani Szczepanski (14), Gylian Finch (12) and Ally Ford (11) all reached double figures in the kill column while combining to attack at a .332 percentage. Szczepanski led the way with an impressive .619 percentage and added two service aces while Finch followed in the percentage category with a .323 clip.

Mikaela Gauthreaux and Emily Plumlee added six and five kills, respectively, and combined for three blocks as Gauthreaux paced the team with two block assists. Plumlee’s attacking percentage finished at .385 while Gauthreaux sat at .250.

Jaquelyn Langhaim posted her tenth double-double of the season after dishing out 41 assists and posting 11 digs. She fell just four kills short of the program’s first ever triple-double after recording six.

Defensively, four different Mocs surpassed 10+ digs for the four set match. Langhaim and Everingham tied for the team-high with 11 while Miranda Elpers and Megan Kaufman each followed with 10.

“As a coach you want your team to be playing its best volleyball in its last match, and minus one rotation we really got stuck in during the fourth set, I thought we did that tonight, so I'm very proud of our team and how we finished the season.

“We have a lot of work to do starting in January and I couldn't be more excited about the group of student-athletes we have returning to go to work with,” Filar concluded.

Chattanooga volleyball will next officially announce its 2019 signing class in the upcoming days. Visit GoMocs.com for the release. 

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