Cumberland falls to top seed
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Cumberland falls to top seed
Jessica Gericke recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs against Union. (Credit Steve Wampler)

HENDERSON, Tenn. – Seniors Angelyn Stanton and Jessica Gericke both posted double-doubles in the quarterfinals of the TranSouth Championships, but the efforts weren’t enough for fifth-seeded Cumberland University to knock off regular season champion Union University Tuesday morning at Freed-Hardeman University’s Sports Center as UU won 3-1 (22-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22).


Stanton’s double-double, which consisted of 13 kills and 10 blocks, was her second in as many conference tournament matches. Gericke totaled 10 kills and 11 digs in the loss.


The Bulldogs (23-12) will need to win five consecutive matches to claim the tournament title, starting with a matchup against rival Trevecca Nazarene University in an elimination game Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Cumberland won three matches against the Trojans this season, including winning in straight sets at home.


CU opened strong, taking a 3-1 lead on a kill by Kaysi Arnold but Union rallied to regain the advantage at 5-4. The lead changed hands three more times until an attack error by UU put Cumberland on top 11-10.


On the strength of four straight points, Cumberland opened up its largest lead of the game at 15-11. During the run, Arnold and Samantha Bellar each recorded kills and Stanton had two of her block assists. Bellar and Mackenzie Gass teamed up with the former Donelson Christian Academy standout on the two rejections.


Union later used a pair of three-point runs to tie the game at 21 apiece before Cumberland closed with four of the last five points. The final stretch included another Arnold kill and a pair of blocks that both featured Stanton and Gass.


Six different Bulldogs recorded at least one kill in the opening set, with Arnold leading the way with five. The Greenbrier, Tenn., native finished with 11 kills in the match.


Union scored the first four points of the second set and never let up, cruising to the easy victory. CU hit just .133 in the period with 10 kills and six errors from five different Bulldogs. Bellar and Gass led CU in the set with five and three kills, respectively.


The first 22 points of the third set were evenly distributed before Union used a pair of kills and an ace to take the lead for good, eventually building a six-point advantage. A block by Stanton and Arnold closed the gap to three points, but CU could not get any closer.


In the third set, eight different Cumberland players recorded at least one kill with Stanton tallying four. The senior also posted five blocks in the period, including a pair of solo blocks late in the set.


CU looked to extend the match in the fourth set, jumping out to a 5-2 lead on two of Stanton’s seven kills, one each by Gericke and Laura DeGear as well as an attack error by Union.


Cumberland pushed the lead out to 12-8 before UU scored six straight points, including three Cumberland hitting errors.


In all the third set saw nine ties with the latest coming at 21-21 before Union notched two kills on both sides of an Arnold kill to close out the victory.