Bulldogs handed first loss of season in five sets
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – Cumberland University let a two-set lead slip away as the Bulldogs dropped their first match of the year – a 3-2 road loss to The University of the Cumberlands – ending a seven-game winning streak.
“We didn’t play well,” CU head coach Dwayne Deering said. “We didn’t play tough when the game got tough. I felt we could have easily won it in three.”
The Volleydawgs led the first set by as many as six points before the homestanding Tigers battled back to tie the game on Cumberland’s first set-point. A block by former Donelson Christian Academy standout Angelyn Stanton and Kaysi Arnold of Greenbrier, Tenn. earned the final point for CU, which won the first set 28-26. The game saw sixteen ties and eight lead changes.
In the second set – a 25-17 win by the Bulldogs – Greenbrier High School product Kayla Arnold paced the visitors with five kills, while Tracy Smallwood of Portland, Tenn. added three.
The Tigers took the third game 26-24 after another hard-fought battle. CU held a 16-13 lead before the Tigers reeled off four straight points to take the lead. Cumberland kept it close through the rest of the set, not giving up back-to-back points until the game-winner.
The home team dominated the fourth game, taking its first lead at 5-4 and never looking back in the win. The 25-15 loss marked the first time in 21 sets that the Bulldogs were not victorious.
In the final set, Cumberland lost the first three points before building a four-point lead at 9-5. The Tigers captured seven of the next eight points, taking a lead that they would hold until the end of the 15-12 win.
Junior college transfer Jessica Gericke from Freeburg, Ill. had a team-high 13 kills, while Stanton finished with 13. Taylor Denney of Cookeville, Tenn. tallied 37 assists in the match.
Cumberland will travel on Monday to Campbellsville, Ky. to take on the Tigers in CU’s last road match before hosting an eight-team tournament Sept. 18-19.