Mocs Volleyball Falls to Murray State in Finals of Chattanooga Classic

( CHATTANOOGA — The Chattanooga Mocs team used a mid-day sweep of ULM (25-18, 25-20, 25-20) to advance to the Chattanooga Classic title match before falling to Murray State, 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 21-25, 11-25), on Saturday evening in Maclellan Gymnaiusm.

With the loss, the Mocs fall to 4-3 overall and claimed runner-ups in the Classic. Murray State improved to 5-1 on the season and earned the Chattanooga Classic title after posting a perfect 3-0 mark.

“We have to understand that playing a team like Murray State, who has won their conference three years in-a-row, you can’t afford to give them an edge because they already have that edge in knowing how to win,” stated coach Travis Filar.

“We can learn from this, you always learn more from your losses than your wins. Murray State was a really impressive and well-coached team,” added Filar.

Chattanooga’s Emily Plumlee and Dani Szczepanski earned All-Tournament honors after combining for 43 kills, a .380 percentage and 17.0 blocks.

“Dani and Emily were outstanding all weekend. They were rocks for us at the net and they worked hard in transition. They were really efficient as attackers and I thought they were so steady all weekend, they deserved it.”

Chattanooga returns to the court on Tuesday for a non-conference trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to face-off with Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. ET.

Match Stats & Notes
– Emily Plumlee and Dani Szczepanski earned All-Tournament honors.
– Szczepanski finished with 22 kills on an impressive .316 percentage … Plumlee added 21 kills at a .444 hitting clip.
– Over the weekend, UTC out-blocked its opponents 19.5 – 8.0 … Emily Plumlee finished with 9.0 blocks … Dani Szczepanski with 8.0 blocks.
– Ally Ford totaled a team-best 33 kills during the Classic … added 28 digs and 4.0 blocks.
– Lauren Greenspoon dished out a tournament-best 106 assists … 10.60 assists per set … moved into 4th all-time in program history with 2,693 career assists.
– Megan Kaufman led the tournament with 63 digs and a 6.30 digs per set average.
– Miranda Elpers finished with 31 kills and 29 digs this weekend.
– The Mocs were out-hit in efficiency on Saturday … losing the hitting percentage category .212 – .183 in two matches … totaled a .206 clip for the weekend in comparison to opponents .187 mark.
– Murray State’s Rachel Guistino finished with 28 kills on a .294 hitting percentage during the 3-1 Mocs loss in the title match.

Chattanooga 3, UL-Monroe 0
1st Set | UTC 25, ULM 18
The Mocs and Warhawks went back-and-forth to open up the match, trading the first 18 points, before UTC went on a quick 3-0 run on a pair of aces from Ally Ford and a kill by Miranda Elpers, forcing ULM to call timeout. Up 12-9, the Mocs took eight of the next 12 points and built a 20-13 lead before ULM answered with a run of their own, 4-0, to pull within three at 20-17. Chattanooga put the set away, 25-18, by claiming five of the next six points and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

2nd Set | UTC 25, ULM 20
After trading the first 20 points of the set, the Mocs had to play a comeback role after surrendering five of the next six points and falling behind 15-11. Four-straight points allowed UTC to tie things up 15-15 before the tournament-hosts added ten of the next 15 points, earning a 25-20 set win, and a 2-0 lead in the match.

3rd Set | UTC 25, ULM 20
After claiming eight-straight sets dating back to last week, the Mocs had their eyes on another sweep as they raced out of the third set with a 12-4 lead. ULM battled their way back by notching 12 of the next 16 points and bringing the set to two points, 16-14. The Warhawks cut it to one point, 20-19, before Chattanooga finished with three kills, a block and an ace down the stretch to earn their third-straight sweep, 25-20, 3-0.

Murray State 3, Chattanooga 1
1st Set | MUR 25, UTC 21
The Racers jumped out to an early 8-3 lead on the Mocs on the help of four kills, forcing Chattanooga into an early timeout. UTC responded with an 8-3 run of their own to tie things at 11-11. The two teams would go back-and-forth as the set was tied 20-20 before Murray State rattled off five of the next six points to take a 25-21 set win and a 1-0 lead in the match.

2nd Set | UTC 25, MUR 21
Chattanooga answered the call after dropping the first set as they built a 9-5 lead with kills from Elpers, Ford and Emily Plumlee to begin the second. The Mocs continued to build on that lead, pushing the set to 17-11 after a Racers service error. Murray State went on a 9-5 run to make things a two-point set, 22-20, before Plumlee laid down a pair of kills and assisted on a block alongside Ford and Sarah Root, to win 25-21, and tie the match at 1-1 heading into the break.

3rd Set | MUR 25, UTC 21
Coming out of the break, both teams were nearly error-free as both sides tried matching each other on kills, producing a see-saw effect with the biggest lead of any team at two points. After Chattanooga tied the set up 10-10, the Racers used three kills from Rachel Giustino, the tournaments’ Most Outstanding Player, as well as an ace and a kill from Rachel Holthaus to extend a 15-12 lead and forcing UTC into a timeout. The Mocs fell behind 22-17 and brought it within two at 23-21, but couldn’t put together a string of points down the stretch, falling 25-21 in the set, and dropping to 2-1 in the match.

4th Set | MUR 25, UTC 11
After kills from Plumlee and Elpers tied things up 4-4 in the early going, Murray State responded in a big way, claiming 21 of the final 28 points, including a stretch of seven-straight points to end the match, 25-11, 3-1.

Categories: College, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs

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