CU bounces back with two wins in Classic
LEBANON, Tenn. – The Cumberland University Bulldogs ended a two-game losing streak by posting a pair of wins in the Cumberland Classic Friday, downing Lindsey Wilson College and University of Rio Grande.
Cumberland (9-2) defeated the Blue Raiders 3-1 (25-22, 34-32, 25-27, 25-18) before being forced to five sets (26-24, 22-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-13) by the RedStorm.
In the two matches, freshman Kaysi Arnold combined for 40 of the team’s 130 kills. During the win over Rio Grande, the Greenbrier High School product had 26 kills on 40 attempts for a kill percentage of .550.
After a three-point win in the first set against Lindsey Wilson, the Volleydawgs locked horns with the Blue Raiders in a game that saw a team have set point on nine different occasions. CU led by as many as six points before Lindsey Wilson began a slow and steady comeback, tying the game at 22 apiece. After going back-and-forth through another 21 points, the set ended in favor of the Bulldogs on a block by twins Kayla and Kaysi Arnold.
Lindsey Wilson came back to win the third set before Cumberland closed out the match in the fourth. Jessica Gericke of Freeburg, Ill. had five kills in the deciding set to pace the Bulldogs, who finished the match with 64. The transfer from John A. Logan Community College ended the opening match with 13 kills, one behind kill-leader Kaysi Arnold. Kayla Arnold finished with a dozen.
Courtney Zigman of Aurora, Ohio and former Cookeville High School standout Taylor Denney split the setting duties, ending the match with 23 and 22 assists, respectively. Libero Jordan Pescatore of Birmingham, Ala. had 15 digs.
In their second match of the day, the Volleydawgs set a season-high with 66 kills. CU’s previous best was 50, which the Bulldogs accomplished twice during last month’s Volleydawg Classic.
Against Rio Grande, the Bulldogs received 13 of their points off of service aces. Tracy Smallwood of Portland, Tenn. had four in the first set, including the last two points of the game, and finished the match with eight.
Zigman again led the team in assists with 33, while Denney had 21. Pescatore and Gericke each collected 13 digs, and Smallwood had 10 more.
CU returns to action Saturday as the Cumberland Classic wraps up at Dallas Floyd Gymnasium with eight more matches. The Volleydawgs will play Faulkner University at 11 a.m. and Mountain State University at 3 p.m. Other matches will begin at 9 a.m.