Volleyball Sweeps Rematch with Chattanooga 3-0
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.-- A week and a half ago Chattanooga (3-9) defeated Belmont (5-8) on the Bruins' home floor taking the match 2-3. In a rematch Saturday night, Belmont did the same, knocking off the Lady Mocs in straight sets, 3-0, in the first match of the Country Inn & Suites Invitational in Chattanooga.
The Bruins were led by junior setter and two-time all-conference selection Channing Salava (Clearwater, Fla.), who paced the team with 34 assists and recorded a season-high six aces, the most by any Bruin this season. Belmont also got continued strong contribution from senior Kayla Albritton (Gainesville, Fla.), who led the team with 12 kills and posted a .455 hitting percentage.
Against Lipscomb Tuesday night, attack errors and blocking errors proved costly for Belmont. The Bruins committed 60 unforced errors on Tuesday but reduced that number drastically tonight, committing only 22 errors. Added to the reduced errors were 14 service aces. Five different players registered at least one ace and three players recorded multiple service aces. Belmont ranks 30th in the nation in service aces and leads the Atlantic Sun Conference in that category.
"The difference tonight is that our serve was an asset to our team," Head Coach Deane Webb said. "Last time we played, we were not focused from the serving line, but tonight it was a great weapon for us. Channing particularly was effective serving, at one point going on a 10 point run. Six aces with only one error is an outstanding ace to error ratio."
In addition to the strong performances from Albritton and Salava, the Bruins also got good production from freshman middle hitter Allison McCoy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), who recorded seven kills and a .400 hitting percentage for the fifth time this season (with 10 attacks or more). Senior Tara Blood (Boise, Idaho) led the all hitters with a .500 hitting percentage, scoring seven kills on 14 attacks and no hitting errors. Preseason all-conference selection junior Maggie Johnson (Naperville, Ill.) added eight kills while senior libero Megan Clements (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the team with 17 digs.
"We attacked very well on the middle and right side," Webb said. "For our middles, 14 kills with 1 error is a great stat line. We have to give credit to our passers to consistently put us in system and allow us those opportunities."
Belmont is now 5-3 all time against Chattanooga, including a 3-2 mark on the road. The meeting was the 31st between the Bruins and an opponent from the Southern Conference. Belmont now owns a 10-21 record against the Southern Conference and 4-11 on the road against SoCon teams.
The weekend tournament continues tomorrow as Belmont faces first time opponent James Madison out of the Colonial Athletic Association in an 8 a.m. match. The Bruins are 4-7 all time against teams from the CAA and an even 2-2 on neutral courts. Belmont will also face Central Florida on Saturday. The Bruins are 0-4 against UCF all-time but have never faced the Knights on a neutral court. First serve for Belmont's final match in the Country Inn & Suites Invitational is set for 3:30 p.m.
"JMU (James Madison) is a scrappy team with a very dynamic right side attacker and a middle that is very good off one foot. They attack out of the back row more than the majority of teams that we see, so we'll need to defend that well. UCF (Central Florida) is a team with a great history of success, and we're glad to have the opportunity to play them again."