LEBANON, Tenn. – Mackenzie Gass and Jaclyn Jordan each recorded 11 kills and Karli Collins added 20 digs, but Cumberland was unable to pull out two close sets, falling 3-1 to Martin Methodist in volleyball action Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs (8-12, 2-3 TranSouth) have now lost three straight matches, all in similar fashion to conference opponents.
The RedHawks dominated the first set, hitting .345 with 11 kills and just one error. Paula Sioto and Ya Zhao both posted three kills and Sandra Stojimirovic and Precious Sanders each added two.
MMC put together a 10-1 spurt early in the set to take control, highlighted by kills from Sanders and Sioto and two service aces from Ann-Kathrin Kuehhorn. Sioto and Ulirike Gebhardt combined for a block before Stojimirovic’s kill gave the RedHawks a 13-3 advantage en route to a 25-13 victory.
The second set was complete the opposite, with Cumberland jumping out to a 10-1 lead behind two kills and a solo block from Gass. Collins added two kills during the stretch. MMC tried to fight their way back into the set but never pulled closer than five points. Gass and Collins both collected three kills in the set and Collins registered six digs.
The third set was back-and-forth in the early going, as Lauren Carter and Rylee combined for a block and Jordan posted two kills. The RedHawks started to pull away but CU pulled within 10-9 before a 7-0 spurt gave control to the visitors, with two kills from Zhao and one each by Sioto and Gebhardt highlighting the run.
The Bulldogs made a late run behind kills from Gass, Collins and Cali Crosslin as well as an ace by Jenna Pavan, but Sioto’s final kill gave MMC a 25-21 victory.
Both teams played very well in the fourth set, combining to hit .329 with 31 kills and only eight errors. Neither team could sideout and Cumberland’s 5-2 advantage early was the biggest of the set until the final points.
Gass and Crosslin both recorded three kills early in the set and Lauren Carter added another, tying the score at 10. Gass collected another kill and Jordan posted two before an attack by setter Lacey Gregory gave CU a 15-13 advantage.
But the lead was short-lived, as MMC scored the next four points, three on service aces from Kuehhorn. Crosslin and Carter registered kills before another by Gass tied the score at 20.
But the RedHawks took control from there, with two kills from Kuehhorn and one from Sanders as well as a service ace by Zhao. Brooke Bowers’ attack error into the net was the final blow in a 25-21 CU defeat in the final set.
Bowers finished with 15 digs, Meghan Gass posted 21 assists and Gregory added 15.
Kuehhorn led four RedHawks with double-figure kills, collecting 12, while Sioto added 11 and Zhao and Sanders both collected 10. Sioto led all players with 27 assists and Sanders had 18, while Stojimirovic posted a team-high 11 digs and three other players each added nine.
Cumberland begins a six-match road swing Saturday at Lyon College at Noon. The Bulldogs will play at Covenant College, Lindsey Wilson, Freed-Hardeman, Martin Methodist and Union University before returning home October 13 to face rival Trevecca Nazarene.