CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- Travis Filar wanted the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student body to "Pack the Mac" for the Mocs home-opener Thursday night, and UTC's third-year volleyball coach got his wish.
Unfortunately he couldn't also get his other wish: a win over Tennessee.
The visiting Lady Vols weathered a challenge from Chattanooga and a raucous school-record crowd of 1,532 in a 3-0 victory at Maclellan Gymnasium.
Chattanooga had leads late in both the second and third set of the match, which was the opener of the three-day, four-team Country Inns & Suites Invitational, but couldn't close the door. Tennessee rallied in both to secure a sweep with wins of 25-11, 25-22 and 25-21.
"It's a tough loss for us, but it's hard to be disappointed," said Filar. "We had an amazing crowd tonight and they really got behind our team when we needed it most. The city of Chattanooga and the students of UTC were great tonight, and I saw a lot of things we did well on the court as a team."
Sophomore Briana Reid, normally an outside hitter, was called upon to fill the role of setter and did not miss a beat. The Texas native led the Mocs with 18 assists and totaled 12 digs en route to her third double-double of the season.
"This isn't the result we wanted, but the atmosphere was phenomenal," Reid said. "The fans gave us a lot of energy tonight and I believe we played well. We are a team that doesn't give up, even when the score isn't in our favor."
Reid led the Mocs with 10 points, adding three kills to the total, while freshman Allie Davenport took charge of the offense with eight kills. Sophomores Julimar Alvarado and Sarah Batterton along with freshman Kendall Sexton tallied five kills.
Sophomore libero Catherine Chason led Chattanooga with 13 digs while Sexton totaled four blocks – two solo and two assisted – to represent the Mocs on the net. Junior Kasey Talley and Davenport each recorded two service aces.
The Country Inns & Suites Invitational continues Friday morning at 10 a.m. with Charlotte taking on UT Martin. The Mocs play again at 7 p.m. in a matchup with Charlotte.