Chattanooga volleyball was able to make quick work of Alabama A&M in the team’s non-conference finale on Tuesday night, defeating the Bulldogs 3-0 in their own gym.
The Mocs (14-5, 2-2 SoCon) battled through a handful of tough sets against the Bulldogs (1-16, 0-3 SWAC), but ultimately the stronger UTC squad found the edge by outhitting A&M .306 to .196 on their way to earning their seventh sweep of 2023.
“I am always happy to get a win, especially on the road against a team hungry for a win,” head coach Julie Torbett.
I thought Morgan (Romano) and Elaine (Redman) played very well and we were able to get everyone some playing time.”
To open the match, Chattanooga bulldozed through the first frame, setting the tone with a statement 25-13 set victory. In set one, the Mocs hit a staggering 45.5 percent from the floor along with only committing one error as a team.
Even with an emphatic open to UTC’s match, Alabama A&M was able to respond in the second by finding themselves up 15-9 on the Mocs midway through the frame. Feeling the pressure, the Chattanooga side was able to create diamonds with the Mocs rattling off six straight points to level things out at 15-15.
From that point on, the remainder of the set involved both teams pushing and pulling back and forth before the Mocs were finally able to secure the set, 26-24.
After their slow start to set two, the Mocs wanted to set the tone early in the third and potentially final set of the night. UTC got off to a red-hot 4-0 start to the third, relying primarily on Elaine Redman, who recorded two of her three aces on the night during the run. Riding the momentum, UTC was able to pull ahead 7-1 on A&M.
While the Bulldogs closed the gap to the Mocs at multiple points, they were never able to take the lead in set three as UTC kept Alabama A&M at arm’s reach to ultimately power their way to a 25-21 set victory. With the final set won, the Mocs had brought home their seventh sweep of the 2023 season, defeating the Bulldogs 3-0.
With the win, Julie Torbett now sits just one win away from reaching her milestone 500th head coaching victory. 31 of her current 499 have come while coaching the Mocs.
With multiple players making their way into and out of the match, Morgan Romano finished the night as the lone UTC player to record double-digit kills, putting up 15 on the Bulldogs alongside a 51.7 hitting percentage. Setter Elaine Redman fed Romano and the rest of the Mocs throughout the match, tallying 30 along with the team-high in aces (3).
Gylian Finch and Paige Gallentine capped off their nights by both recording double-digit digs for UTC, as Finch led the way with 15 while Gallentine followed closely behind with 12. Kate Neill also finished her night with a team-leading three blocks.
With the Mocs’ non-conference slate now officially in the rearview, Chattanooga will now shift its attention to the remaining 12 Southern Conference matchups that are left on the team’s 2023 schedule. To start, the Mocs will play host to a pair of purple teams this coming weekend in Furman (12-3, 3-1 SoCon) and Western Carolina (4-11, 1-3 SoCon) as Chattanooga volleyball prepares to host its 50th Season Celebration over the pair of matches. The Mocs will take on the Paladins on Friday, October 6, starting at 6 p.m. ET before closing out the weekend at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 7 against the Catamounts. Both matches will be free and open to the public at Maclellan Gymnasium, but only Friday’s match against Furman will be available to stream on ESPN+.