CU handed 3-1 loss by Freed-Hardeman
LEBANON, Tenn. – The Bulldogs of Cumberland University were unable to end a skid dating back to 2005 as Freed-Hardeman University claimed a 3-1 win to extend its winning streak over CU to eight straight on Monday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs (15-11, 4-7 TranSouth) bounced back from a first-set loss, but dropped the third and fourth sets to conference-leading Lady Lions (26-8, 11-2).
Freed-Hardeman, the preseason favorite to win the conference, picked up a 25-18 win in the first set on the strength of two big runs. With the scored tied 3-3, the Lady Lions scored seven of the next nine points and after the Bulldogs cut the deficit back to two had a 6-1 stretch that pushed their lead to seven points. With eight errors and 11 kills in the first set, the Volleydawgs hit just .071 compared to FHU’s .235 attack percentage.
Cumberland used an even bigger span to tie the match at a game apiece. Leading by one, the Bulldogs went on an 11-2 run and never let Freed-Hardeman get within six points in the 25-15 victory. Freshman Kaysi Arnold had three kills during the run and six in the set. The Greenbrier High School product finished the match with 15 kills.
An error-filled third set by CU allowed the Lady Lions to regain control of the match. Freed-Hardeman picked up a 25-16 win in a game in which the Bulldogs had 11 attack errors and finished with a negative .029 kill percentage. FHU jumped out to an 8-3 lead and kept Cumberland at bay with 13 kills and only two errors.
The final set was close throughout as neither team was able to put much distance between its opponent after the two swapped the lead three times. The Lady Lions held the lead for much of the set before Cumberland was able to force the third tie of the game at 16-16 – the previous ties were at 1-1 and 2-2. After swapping the next two points, Freed-Hardeman won four straight to create the game’s largest lead and set up match point and a 25-21 final.
Former Cookeville High School standout Taylor Denney and Courtney Zigman of Aurora, Ohio had 21 and 20 assists, respectively. Jordan Pescatore of Birmingham, Ala. had 17 digs, while Portland High School product Tracy Smallwood registered 13. Zigman and Angelyn Stanton of Nashville, Tenn., each had four block assists, while Laura DeGear of Big Rapids, Mich., added three.
Cumberland continues its season-ending homestand Wednesday and Friday as the Bulldogs host Martin Methodist and Lyon College, respectively. CU will then close out the regular season Tuesday, Nov. 3, with a home match against Union University.