CHATTANOOGA, TN (gomocs.com) -- The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team returns home to host the Scenic City Showdown - Presented by Hampton Inn & Suites in Downtown Chattanooga. The tournament features UAB, Gardner-Webb and Austin Peay at Maclellan Gym Friday and Saturday.
"It's going to be three very different matchups," head coach Travis Filar stated. "Anytime you play different types of offenses and different styles of play, it really brings out your ability to make adjustments team-to-team."
The Mocs start the weekend against the UAB Blazers, Friday at 6:00 p.m. (E.D.T.). UTC takes on the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs Saturday at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Austin Peay Governors at 7:00 p.m.
"We have three matches, three opportunities to be locked in at 100 percent of the time," Filar said. "And that's challenging in volleyball because there's no dead time. A point is scored every serve."
Chattanooga is coming off a 2-1 weekend in its first road matches of the season at the Maroon Classic. The Mocs beat Mississippi Valley State and Stetson 3-0, while dropping a hard fought match to Mississippi State 3-1, which moves UTC to 4-2.
"We dug a lot of hard driven balls over the weekend, especially against Mississippi State," Filar stated. "Our defenders becoming more and more comfortable with that will create more opportunities for us to score."
Seniors Sarah Batterton (Colbert, Wash.) and Briana Reid (Houston, Texas) earned spots on the Maroon Classic All-Tournament team because of their strong offensive performances. During the tournament, Batterton recorded 30 kills, including 16 against Mississippi State. Reid also had 30 kills, 15 against Mississippi State. Senior libero Catherine Chason (Alpharetta, Ga.) tallied 42 digs, averaging 4.2 per set.
Last season the Mocs faced the Blazers in Birmingham, Ala., and returned with a 3-2 win. UAB is 4-4 and coming off a 2-1 finish at their own Blazer Classic. The Blazers started the tournament with a 3-2 loss against Conference USA foe Florida International. They finished with 3-0 wins against Savannah State and Austin Peay.
Junior outside hitter Gabby Deshotel leads the Blazers with 125 kills and is tied with a team-best of 25 total blocks. Redshirt junior libero Emma Schroer paces the team with 133 digs, averaging 4.43 per set. Because of her efforts in the back court, she was named to the Blazer Classic All-Tournament team.
UTC and the Blazers have one common opponent so far. UAB lost to Troy 3-2 Sept. 1, and the Mocs beat Troy 3-1 in their season opening tournament.
Saturday is the first meeting for Chattanooga and Gardner-Webb on the volleyball court. The Bulldogs have a 3-5 overall record and are coming off three losses at the AmericInn Runnin' Bulldog Classic, including a 3-2 loss to a Southern Conference opponent, The Citadel.
Senior libero Anna Pashkova earned the All-Tournament recognition at Gardner-Webb's own tournament. She leads the team with 176 digs on the season. Sophomore middle blocker Sydeny Marshall paces the team in total blocks with 31, nine solo and 22 assisted.
The last meeting for UTC and Austin Peay was a year ago when the Mocs came back from Clarksville, Tenn., with a 3-1 win. Austin Peay has a 2-6 record. Its last tournament was the Blazer Classic, where they posted two 3-0 wins against Savannah State and Florida International and a 3-0 loss to UAB.
Sophomore middle blocker/right-side hitter Ashely Slay was honored as Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Governors in kills for four straight matches. She also has recorded a team-best 20 total blocks and 10 service aces.
Austin Peay squares off against Gardner-Webb Friday at 3:00 p.m. Then, on the second day of the tournament, UAB plays Austin Peay at 10:00 a.m. and Gardner-Webb at 4:30 p.m. Live stats are available for each matchup. Links can be found on GoMocs.com volleyball schedule page.
In honor of Parent & Family Weekend, students and their families are invited to enjoy free food leading up to the UTC volleyball match Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The picnic is set for 5:30-7:30 outside the Maclellan Gym near the Douglas St. and Vine St. intersection.