Chattanooga Indoor Volleyball Splits Day One of Georgia State Invitational

The Chattanooga Mocs’ indoor volleyball team began the 2021 season with a four-set (25-20, 11-25, 25-23, 25-21) victory over the Georgia State Panthers at the Georgia State Invitational. UTC fell in its second match, a three-set loss to the Memphis Tigers.

SET 1 ∙ UTC 25, UTC 20
SET 2 ∙ GSU 25, UTC 11
SET 3 ∙ UTC 25, GSU 23
SET 4 ∙ UTC 25, GSU 21

After taking an 8-7 lead in the first set, the Mocs led the way throughout the remainder of the frame. Maia Rackel dominated the opening set with six kills and a .667 hitting percentage. The Mocs outhit the Panthers .286-.259 and both teams recorded three blocks and two aces.

The Panthers were not going down quickly. They used an 8-1 lead early in the second set to take advantage and never looked back. The Panthers recorded 17 kills in the set, the only frame that featured no ties or lead changes.

The third set was the tightest of the four. With the match tied at one set a piece, the third frame featured 10 ties and three lead changes. The Mocs used six kills by Marcelle Baez-Carlo and four blocks to take the set, 25-23. Baez-Carlo had three block assists in the frame, and Sophia Bossong registered two blocks, none bigger than a solo stuff to put the set away.

Georgia State led early in the fourth, its biggest lead being a five-point advantage, 10-5. UTC was ready to end the match in four and went on a 12-3 run and take a 17-13 lead in the set. The Panthers got within one, but UTC used kills from Rackel and Gylian Finch and a block from Kate Neill and Coniah Davis to put the match away in four the fourth, 25-23.

The veterans on the floor led the way in kills for the Mocs. Finch finished tied for a match-best 14 and Rackel posted 13. Baez-Carlo hit .400 in her collegiate debut with seven kills on 15 swings.

Defensively, Paige Gallentine led the match with 19 digs, she added four assists and was perfect defending the serve. Liz Tomlin added 10 digs, while Bossong tallied 13 and quarterbacked the offense with 37 assists.

Neill added eight kills and three blocks. Davis was second on the squad with four blocks and posted three kills.

MATCH 2: Memphis 3, UTC 0
SET 1 ∙ Memphis 25, UTC 23
SET 2 ∙ Memphis 27, UTC 25
SET 3 ∙ Memphis 25, UTC 14

Memphis had a consistent three-to-four-point lead throughout the majority of the opening set until the Mocs cut their deficit to one, down 22-21. The Tigers won the next two points, needing to win one of the next three to win the set. UTC didn’t go down without a fight, taking the next two points with kills from Bossong and Rackel before Memphis took the set, 25-23.

The second set was closer than the first, featuring 15 ties and five lead changes. Neither team led by more than three in the frame. The score was tied at 21 as the teams alternated the next eight points. UTC battled with kills by Finch, Neill and Davis, but ultimately, Memphis used a kill from Miaya Smith and an ace to close out the set, 27-25. Finch was nearly unstoppable in the set, hitting .538 with seven kills and 11 digs in the frame.

UTC and Memphis kept the third close at the beginning with the score locked at nine. After three straight Tiger points, UTC called timeout down 12-9. Memphis put down two kills and capitalized off a Mocs error to cap off its 6-0 run and hold a 15-9 advantage. The Tigers took the set, 25-14 while hitting .517.

Finch led the way offensively for the Blue and Gold with 10 kills and capped off a double-double with 16 digs, the most among all players. Neill was a perfect 5-for-5 to begin the match and finished with seven kills, hitting .417.

Once again, helping form a wall up front, Davis posted a team-best three blocks (two solo) and added seven kills. Rackel was second on the squad with nine kills, while Bossong tied a career best with five on 11 swings (.455%).

In the back row, Gallentine registered a team-leading 13 digs and was perfect receiving the serve for the second consecutive match.

Memphis’ Elizabeth Orf led the match with 16 kills on 22 swings, a .682 clip.