CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Samford University volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking five-setter to close out a road weekend, Friday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Bulldogs and Mocs traded three-point runs in the opening moments of the match. The set remained close, but Samford was able to string together several mini-runs to open a slight edge Chattanooga attempted to overcome. However, the Bulldogs stifled the comeback behind a pair of kills from sophomore middle blocker Kate Wonus to secure the first set, 25-18.
Samford looked poised to run away with the second set leading 8-5 early, before a five-point UTC run gave the Mocs a 10-9 lead. However, Samford responded with a pair of four-point runs to take a commanding 17-11 advantage. Even as Chattanooga looked to make a late comeback, the Bulldogs’ balanced offensive front locked up the second set 25-19; with a kill from Briana Holmes, Kenya McQuirter, and a service ace from Kayla Keshock.
Following a tough loss the night before, the Bulldogs were hungry for a Friday sweep. Senior outside hitter Lauren Deaton had the Dogs up 7-4, but Chattanooga battled back with several mini-runs to tie the third frame at 14-14. The back-and-forth race to 25 ensued with Samford looking to capitalize off a few UTC miscues and a solo block from Holmes to lead 20-18. The Mocs would not go away quietly overcoming the deficit to take the third set 25-23.
In the fourth frame, the seesaw battle continued as the teams traded points well into the fourth set. The teams remained deadlocked at 12-12, until Chattanooga went on a four-point run to lead 15-12. The momentum turned to the Mocs as they home side ran away with the fourth set 25-16.
The Bulldogs headed to a fifth set for the first time in the 2021 fall season, and the back-and-forth battled continued as freshman libero, Kate Morgan knotted the frame up at 3-3. The Mocs pulled ahead dangerously 8-5 forcing head coach Keylor Chan to call a timeout to stave the momentum. Out of the timeout the Bulldogs went on a 3-1 run as Kate Wonus posted a career high 13th kill of the match followed by a pair of kills from McQuirter the ended with a Chattanooga timeout. Despite a valiant effort from the Bulldogs, the Mocs closed out the deciding fifth set 15-12.
FROM THE BOX SCORE
- Wonus set a new career high in kills with 13 on the night, as one of four Bulldogs with double-digit kills in the match.
- McQuirter posted her second-straight match with 20+ kills, while Holmes (11) and Deaton (12) also posted double-digits in the kill column.
- Kayla Keshock set the Bulldog offense with 50 assists in the five-set match.
- The Mocs were led by Gylian Finch offensively who had 15 kills.
- The Bulldogs have one road game remaining before returning to the Pete Hanna Center as they make the trek to Southern Conference rival Mercer for a midweek matchup Wednesday, Oct. 13 with first serve scheduled for 6 p.m..
FOLLOW THE BULLDOGS:
For the latest news and information on Samford volleyball, visit the official website for Samford Athletics at SamfordSports.com. Fans can also follow the Bulldogs on social media at @SamfordSports (Facebook), @SamfordVB (Instagram) and @SamfordVB (Twitter).