Volleydawgs rebound with 3-1 win over Bethel
LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland University bounced back from its first home loss of the season with a 3-1 win over TranSouth Conference-leading Bethel University thanks to a 19-kill night by freshman Kaysi Arnold.
CU (14-8, 4-6) dropped the first set but rebounded to claim the next three over Bethel (17-3, 8-3). The four-set win avenged a loss last month in which the Bulldogs pushed the Wildcats to five sets before falling.
After Bethel scored the first two points of the set, CU ripped off six straight to open up four-point cushion. The visitors later took advantage of back-to-back receive errors to regain the lead before the Volleydawgs scored five of the next seven points to bring the lead back to four. With Cumberland leading 17-13, the Wildcats went on a 12-1 run to close out the set with a 25-18 victory. Kaysi Arnold of Greenbrier, Tenn., had five of Cumberland’s 10 kills in the set and finished the opening game with a .833 kill percentage. Her impressive performance was wiped out with eight errors by CU, which hit .057 in the set.
Cumberland opened the second game winning the first four points and 10 of the first 14. The Wildcats managed to get within a point at 11-10, but CU pulled away, building a lead as large as seven points. Before the Bulldogs were able to close out their win in the second set, Bethel broke four consecutive set points to make it a 24-23 game before Arnold ended it with her 12th kill of the match.
The third game was a tight battle early on with nine ties and five lead changes, but hosts finished up the 25-19 victory with 13 of the last 17 points to take a two-set lead. The Volleydawgs improved their hitting in the third set with just four errors in 33 attempts.
Courtney Zigman of Aurora, Ohio broke an 8-8 tie in the third set with a kill and started a 9-2 stretch for the Bulldogs, who led by as many as eight points. Bethel broke Cumberland’s first match point but Arnold’s 19th kill of the night slammed the door out the Wildcats.
Zigman led the Bulldogs with 22 assists, while Taylor Denney of Cookeville, Tenn., had 16. Jordan Pescatore of Birmingham, Ala., finished the match with 21 digs and Portland High School product Tracy Smallwood collected 17.
Cumberland travels to Georgetown, Ky., tomorrow for its last road match of the year. The Bulldogs will return to the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center next Thursday when they entertain Tennessee Temple. CU will play its final six matches at home.