Saturday morning, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga volleyball program's Twitter account posted a quote from coach Travis Filar that called the Mocs' upcoming afternoon match against visiting Georgia State "a celebration of our seniors, a preview of our incredibly talented roster, and a normalcy in finding joy and excitement once again, competing in the game we love."
The Mocs then celebrated their seniors, showed off an incredibly talented roster and, most importantly, came away with a dramatic win.
UTC needed five sets — and additional points in the final one — but was able to beat the Panthers (0-1) of the Sun Belt Conference at Maclellan Gymnasium in a match closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Mocs' one-match fall schedule concluded the careers of seniors Bailey Bennett, Maddie Halsey and Megan Kaufman, but the rest of the team will look toward an expected spring semester season with the Southern Conference having postponed league competition until the new year.
The Mocs won the first two sets, 25-23 and 25-18, but the Panthers took the next two, 25-20 and 25-22. That led to a fifth set in which neither team held a two-point advantage until Georgia State's Leah Wilcox, who totaled 30 kills, had an attack that went long and made it 24-22 in UTC's favor.
Junior outside hitter Gylian Finch's 25 kills led the Mocs, with redshirt freshman Mackenzie Siatta right behind with 23. Freshman setter Sophia Bossong had 64 assists, freshman defensive specialist/libero Paige Gallentine was credited with 33 digs, Kaufman had 15 digs and Bennett had three aces.
Soccer match off
The Mocs were set to host Georgia State in women's soccer Sunday, but that match has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. UTC told the Times Free Press that both teams decided not to play the match due to COVID-19 concerns.
Like the volleyball program, coach Gavin McKinney's Mocs had only one fall contest planned but expect to compete during the spring semester. That schedule has not been finalized.