Charleston, S.C. – Sparked by the play of Ise d'Angelo and Rachael Farrell, who finished with 11 kills each, and a record-tying performance by Erin Bucherl, The Citadel went to five sets with visiting Chattanooga before falling by scores of 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 14-25 and 15-13.
The tandem of d'Angelo and Farrell led the Cadets with 11 kills, while Jessica Maxwell and Lauren Hurt recorded nine each. Defensively, Erin Bucherl tied the school mark with 41 digs, set during the 2008 season by Rachel Sanders. Farrell was also instrumental among back row hitters with 19 digs, while Emily Dalton added 13. Freshmen setters Mikaela Tracy and Rachel Keefer posted 34 and 10 assists, respectively, but the Dogs fell to 4-20 overall and 0-8 in SoCon play.
Chattanooga outside hitter Julimar Alvarado totaled 27 kills and led a unit that finished with 66 in the match. Alongside Alvarado, who posted the fourth-most kills by a Citadel opponent in program history, in double-digit kills was Sarah Batterton (11) and Briana Reid (10). The Mocs (9-14, 3-5) also got a lift on the defensive end from Paula Passmore (23 digs), Briana Reid (20 digs) and Bridget Camacho (19 digs). Camacho also handed out a match-high 58 assists.
The hard fought opening set was an indication of how the match would go as the two teams battled to a 7-7 tie. Alvarado gave the Mocs momentum with three kills among the next five points, forging her team into an 11-7 lead. However, The Citadel battled back, converting a series of kills by Hurt and Tracy along with five UTC unforced errors to pull within 17-16 of the lead. Chattanooga again relied on the services of Alvarado, who drove home two of the team's final eight points in the 25-20 win.
A reenergized Citadel unit bounced back in the second game, scoring 10 of the first 16 points en route to a four-point advantage. Four kills by Farrell over the next nine Bulldog points sparked a 9-5 run that allowed for a 19-11 lead. Consecutive kills by Kasey Talley, Alvarado and Christina Teter eventually drew UTC within four points of the lead, 20-16. However, offensive strikes by Keefer, Hurt, Farrell and Maxwell proved to be the difference in the 25-20 victory.
The Bulldogs carried their momentum into the third set, using kills by Cassie Uribe and Maxwell to establish an early 11-4 cushion. The Citadel maintained that distance until a kill by Teter led to a 4-0 run by the Mocs that made for a 16-15 Citadel lead. Chattanooga continued to collect offensive points, eventually drawing the score even at 20 following three Bulldog unforced errors. Alvarado answered with three kills among UTC's final five points to complete the 25-21 win.
The Citadel established an early 7-3 lead in the fourth set, following kills by d'Angelo and Bailey Kernodle, and did not look back. After a kill by Batterton, which gave UTC their fourth point, The Citadel rattled off five straight points to move in front 13-5. The Dogs took their largest lead of the set, 22-11, following kills by d'Angelo, Maxwell and Keefer as they sent the match to a decisive fifth set by a 25-14 score.
Chattanooga established itself early in the fifth set, jumping out to a 4-1 lead on an Alvarado kill. The Citadel responded with a kill by Kernodle and capitalized on kills by Farrell and d'Angelo to make for an eventual 7-5 UTC advantage. A series of Moc attack errors narrowed the lead to three points, but the unrelenting effort by Farrell and her teammates allowed The Citadel to pull within 14-13 of the lead. After a Chattanooga timeout, Lauren Gainer drove home the game winner as UTC emerged 15-13.
The Citadel returns to action on Oct. 19 when the Dogs head to Western Carolina. One day later, the Bulldogs play at SoCon rival Appalachian State. For more information on Bulldog Volleyball, go to the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.CitadelSports.com.