Bulldogs hold off Martin Methodist
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Bulldogs hold off Martin Methodist
Kaysi Arnold tallied 18 kills to lead Cumberland to a TranSouth victory over Martin Methodist Thursday night. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Kaysi Arnold posted a season-best 18 kills to lead Cumberland University to its fourth straight victory in TranSouth Conference play as the Bulldogs downed Martin Methodist, 3-0, Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.


Three of Arnold’s kills came during an 11-0 run that Cumberland (17-4, 4-0) used to erase an eight-point RedHawk lead in the fourth set, which the Bulldogs won 26-25 to rebound from a hard-fought 29-27 loss in the third set. CU led the match 2-0 after 25-16 and 25-21 wins in the first two periods.


Martin Methodist (7-11, 2-2) carried the momentum of the third-set victory into the fourth, jumping out to a 9-3 lead and eventually making it 13-5. The RedHawks’ run was broken with a serve into the net before they added one more kill to make it a 14-6 game.


Arnold, who was named the Music City Star of the Game, took an assist from Meghan Gass and pounded out a kill to start the long stretch. Martin Methodist tried twice to use a timeout to stop the Bulldogs’ streak, but Arnold recorded a kill on a RedHawk overpass to score after the first break and an attack error by Ann-Kathrin Kuehorn gave CU a point after the second.


During the run the RedHawks committed errors on six points, including six attack errors – one of which was a block by Jessica Gericke and Angelyn Stanton. On the night Cumberland outblocked the visitors, 8-7. Entering the match MMC led the conference with a 2.1-block-per-set average, while the Bulldogs were second with 2.0. Stanton, Arnold and Laura DeGear each had four blocks on the night, with DeGear having the only solo block.


The RedHawks came back to tied the set four times, the latest coming at 24-24 before another Arnold kill and a block from Gericke and Stanton ended the match, giving CU its six win in the last seven contests.


After Martin Methodist gained a 2-1 lead to start the opening set, Cumberland cruised to an easy victory, scoring five straight points and 12 of the next 14 to build a nine-point advantage that would never get smaller than six.


The second set was much tighter, but the Bulldogs again used a five-point span to jump out to a lead, however MMC kept it close throughout as the RedHawks tied the set at 19-19. The Volleydawgs closed strong though, winning six of the final eight points.


MMC pounded out 23 kills in the third set, creating a six-point lead at one point before Cumberland battled back to make it a 20-19 game. The RedHawks ultimately earned the set victory by blocking an attack by Arnold.


Gass and Taylor Denney contributed 21 and 17 assists, respectively, while Jaclyn Rodriguez recorded her 15th double-digit dig match of the year with 17.


The Bulldogs hit the road for a match against Lyon College Saturday at noon, before returning home to face Bethel University next Tuesday at 6 p.m.