LEBANON, Tenn. – Kaysi Arnold posted her second double-digit kill, error-free match of the season, leading Cumberland University to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-23) win over rival Trevecca Nazarene University in TranSouth Conference volleyball action Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Arnold, who was named the Music City Star of the Game, recorded a dozen kills in the triumph over Trevecca. The sophomore from Greenbrier, Tenn., tallied 15 kills and no errors in a five-set win over the Trojans last month.
The Bulldogs (20-8, 7-3) defeated their rival in straight sets for the first time since 2005 and completed the season sweep of TNU after claiming two victories on the Trojans’ home court in September. With the victory, Cumberland has now won at least 20 matches in three of the last four seasons.
CU took advantage of five TNU (12-13, 4-6) errors to take a 5-1 lead to start the match. The Bulldogs, who finished the opening set with 13 kills, saw six different players record at least one kill with Arnold tallying five.
One of the Greenbrier High School product’s kills came at the end of a four-point stretch that pushed the CU lead out to five points at 18-13. After a Trevecca timeout, Arnold and Laura DeGear teamed up to block a Trojan attack and continue the Bulldogs’ run. After two consecutive TNU points made it a four-point game, Cumberland scored the next four and eventually closed out the set victory on a kill by Samantha Bellar off a Jaclyn Rodriguez assist.
The Trojans took the early lead, going up 5-2, in the second set before a Taylor Denney kill and a pair of Meghan Gass service aces knotted the game at five apiece. Gass’ next serve went into the net before CU scored the next five points to go on top by four.
A block by Arnold and Angelyn Stanton later made it a five-point game and from there the Cumberland lead stayed between two and four points until Danielle Girardeau had a kill on Denney’s assist to give the Bulldogs set point. Trevecca scored twice before Cumberland was able to close out the set on another Denney-to-Girardeau kill.
After committing just one attack error – on a Trojan block – in the second set and hitting an outstanding .517, the Bulldogs had 10 errors in the third set, but tallied kills on 15 of their 25 points.
Seven of the kills came from Girardeau, who posted a career-high 11 kills and notched a match-best .667 hitting percentage.
With CU leading by four, Trevecca seemed to take control of the final set with a 7-0 run that ended after the Bulldogs followed a timeout with a kill by Girardeau of a Denney assist. Cumberland eventually tied the game at 21 before a pair of TNU points put the visitors in prime position to force a fourth set. Arnold pounded back-to-back kills to give Cumberland its lead back and a shot out of bounds by the Trojans ended the match, putting the Bulldogs back in sole possession of second place in the league, two games behind Union University.
Cumberland will have more than a week to rest before its next as the Bulldogs don’t play again until they host Tennessee Temple University October 23 at 4:30 p.m. CU will return to TranSouth play on October 25 with a home match against Freed-Hardeman University.