The Chattanooga Mocs’ indoor volleyball and the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles battled for the Southern Miss Classic crown on Saturday afternoon inside the Wellness Center. After the Mocs took the first set, 25-19, Southern Miss won the next three sets 25-16, 25-17, 25-13 to take the match in four.
MATCH 1: CHATTANOOGA 3, LAMAR 0
SET 1 ∙ UTC 25, USM 19
SET 2 ∙ USM 25, UTC 16
SET 3 ∙ USM 25, UTC 17
SET 4 ∙ USM 25, UTC 13
After an early 7-6 UTC lead, the Mocs went on the first run of the match. UTC won seven of the next 11 points to take a 14-9 lead. The run consisted of multiple Southern Miss errors, back-to-back kills from Gylian Finch and a huge block from Coniah Davis and Marcelle Baez-Carlo. With the Mocs up 20-15, the hosts had called their last timeout. UTC never gave up the lead, taking the frame with a Baez-Carlo kill. The Mocs held Southern Miss to a .114 hitting percentage in the set while UTC hit .270. The Blue and Gold slotted three aces and allowed the Golden Eagles just one.
UTC held another lead early in the second. Down 5-3, the Golden Eagles went on a 6-0 run, forcing the Mocs to call their first timeout of the match. The Blue and Gold were able to win two long rallies to stay in the set. Ultimately, the hosts took the set 25-16, hitting .268 and limiting the Mocs to a .025 clip.
The two teams were close until the hosts went on a 3-0 run after the set was tied at 10 points apiece. The Golden Eagles went on a 3-0 run to take a 13-10 lead and never looked back. USM picked up six of seven points in the middle of the set to protect their lead. The Mocs fell in the set 25-17 after Southern Miss hit .324 in the set. At the end of the frame, Finch had already posted a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs.
Southern Miss held a 4-3 lead in the fourth before they went on a 4-0 run, forcing the Mocs to call timeout down 8-3. The hosts used two more runs winning four straight points to extend their lead. The Mocs fell in the fourth 25-13 to close out the weekend. Southern Miss hit .342 in the set siding, out on 12 of 13 opportunities.
Finch’s double-double was complete with 15 digs and 13 kills. The 13 kills were a team best; she also was tied for a match high with three aces.
Rackel was second on the squad with nine kills. Defensively, she had six digs and two blocks, one solo.
Rounding out the offense, Aleya Kennedy posted five kills, while Baez-Carlo and Davis both had four. The three combined for four of UTC’s 8.5 blocks.
In the back row, Paige Gallentine led the match with 21 digs. The Mocs’ libero was perfect in serve-receive in her 24 chances.