BLACKSBURG, VA (gomocs.com) -- The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team swept the Hokie Invitational after a 3-2 win against Virginia Tech and 3-1 victory over Middle Tennessee on Saturday. UTC improves to 11-2 and are on a seven match winning streak.
"We played a lot of close sets this weekend," head coach Travis Filar stated. "I'm proud of our team and how we've grown from the first weekend to now. We have found so many different ways to win tight points and sets."
This is the best start for Chattanooga since 1986 when the team went 12-1 to start the season.
"Each match we're winning a different way," Filar explained. "Different individuals stepped up at different times. When we need a block, we get a block. When we need a dig, we get a dig."
The Mocs posted an exciting five set win against host Virginia Tech. This is the first win for UTC against a power five school since Sept. 18, 2004 when the squad posted a 3-2 win over North Carolina State.
"Our win against Virginia Tech is program defining," said Filar. "It's a team that beat Michican State, who was ranked No. 19 two weekends ago."
Chattanooga dropped a close first set but fought back to win the second frame 25-21. Then, the Hokies played an impressive third, followed by two sets going down to the wire. UTC clinched the fourth 26-24 and the fifth 17-15.
Senior Briana Reid (Houston, Texas) and sophomore Lauren Greenspoon (Houston, Texas) each posted double-doubles. Reid recorded 15 kills and 18 digs, and Greenspoon made 50 assists and 11 digs.
Senior Catherine Chason (Alpharetta, Ga.) tallied 17 digs. Miranda Elpers (Louisville, Ky.) followed with 16, while Sarah Batterton (Colbert, Wash.) made a big offensive impact after recording 15 kills.
The Mocs racked up 12 blocks, while the Hokies had 11.
"The one thing we had been missing in previous weekends was blocking, and it really caught up with our defense and offense this weekend," stated Filar. "It was exciting to see that improvement."
Against Middle Tennessee, UTC dropped the first set and then won the next three. In both the second and third frames, the Mocs didn't allow the Blue Raiders to get above 19 points. The fourth was a nail-biter with Chattanooga clinching the final set 27-25.
Junior Kristy Wieser (Lincoln, Neb.) led the team with 17 kills, while also hitting four blocks.
Elpers and Chason each posted 21 digs, and Greenspoon added 48 assists.
Three Mocs were featured on the Hokie Invitational All-Tournament team, including senior Lauren Gainer (Boca Raton, Fla.), Reid and Greenspoon as Most Outstanding Player.
"This was a great weekend to give us a lot of belief going into conference play," Filar said. "Our team is such a together group. They can rely on each other when it's tight."
Chattanooga is back at home in Maclellan Gym next weekend to open Southern Conference play. The Mocs are set to play UNCG Friday at 6 p.m. and Western Carolina Saturday at 6 p.m.