WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – The Union College Volleyball team came up short against non-conference foe Cumberlands (Ky.), falling 3-2 on Thursday night.
With the loss, the Bulldogs drop to 26-9 overall while the Patriots improve to. 20-7 on the season.
In a match that nearly mirrored the first meeting between the two teams back on Oct. 6, unfortunately it didn't end in Union's favor. After Union picked up the second and third set, Cumberlands was able to come from behind and close out the match to register the 25-18, 21-25, 24-26, 25-19, 15-9 victory.
"It wouldn't be a Cumberlands rivalry game if it didn't go the distance like most do," said head coach Jeremy Wise. "We left a lot of points out on the court tonight but the good aspect is we know we can play point for point with a good team."
Wise added, "Hopefully this prepares us for the final push of our Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) schedule."
Union fell behind early in the first frame but with a Ivana Kazic (SR/Belgrade, Serbia) kill the Bulldogs knotted things up 11-11. However, Cumberlands scrapped their way back and scored the last five points to take the first set 25-18.
The second set Union came out with vengeance to tie the match up 1-1. Union recorded 14 kills in the set and recorded just two errors. The Bulldogs owned a 10-6 lead after a Carson Gray (SO/Alexandria, Ky.) kill but the Patriots weren't going down quietly . After back and forth play the set was found knotted 21-21 before Union reeled off four consecutive points to capture the 25-21 second set.
Like the first to sets, play was tight in the third. Union led by as much as six points and looked as if they would cruise to take the third set easily. But the Patriots clawed their way back down the stretch to tie things at 24 all. Union closed out the set after a Marissa Elam (JR/Muncie, Ind.) kill and a Kazic serving ace to take set three 26-24.
The Patriots held nothing back in the fourth set, knowing they needed a win to force a fifth set. Cumberlands jumped out to a early 16-10 lead and never let up as the Patriots went on to secure a fifth set with a 25-19 fourth set win.
In the final set, the Patriots worked quickly to grab a 6-1 lead, but the Bulldogs responded with 5-3 run of their own to get within three. Just like in the first set, the Patriots rallied and scored the final points for the 15-9 set win and 3-2 match victory.
Elam paced the way for the Bulldogs with 19 kills while Maddie Jergesen (FR/Carson City, Nev.) chipped in eight on the night. Carson Gray not only recorded a team-high 20 assists but she also cleared a milestone by recording her 1,000th career assist.
Union returns to action Saturday hosting a AAC tri-match. Union faces St. Andrews (N.C.) at 11 a.m. while ending with a match up against Bryan (Tenn.) at 3 p.m.