Bulldogs play better in 3-1 loss
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Bulldogs play better in 3-1 loss
Mackenzie Gass posted 15 kills in CU's 3-1 loss Thursday to Trevecca Nazarene. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Mackenzie Gass posted 15 kills and Amanda Wiseman recorded 21 digs, but Trevecca Nazarene played better at the end of sets and picked up a 3-1 victory over Cumberland in volleyball action Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

The Bulldogs (9-18, 3-7 TranSouth) played much better overall than the past few matches, hitting .123 as a team and registering 47 kills to only 26 errors. But mid-set lapses gave the Trojans (16-10, 8-2) openings and the visitors took advantage for the victory.

Meghan Gass led CU with 26 assists and Lacey Gregory added 13, while Karli Collins collected 10 kills. Brooke Bowers and Jaclyn Rodriguez recorded 13 and 12 digs, respectively, for the Bulldogs.

The first set told the story of the match, with the two teams going back-and-forth and seven ties, the last one at 13-all. Collins started strong, posting three kills and a block with Lauren Carter. Her kill tied the match at 13, but TNU answered with a 7-2 run that included three attack errors by the Bulldogs and kills from Brittany Eller and Jenna Robertson and two by Halley Wiggins.

Trevecca finished the set on a 12-3 spurt, with Kristen Johnson’s kill finishing off the first-set win.

The second set started much the same way as the first, with four ties en route to an 8-all score. Mackenzie Gass recorded three kills in the early going and a kill from Collins knotted the score, but the Trojans ran off eight consecutive points to take a commanding lead.

A ball-handling error by TNU started the comeback for the Bulldogs and CU was helped by four other attack errors from the Trojans. Kills from Jaclyn Jordan, Collins and Mackenzie Gass inched Cumberland closer and a block by Rylee Butler and Mackenzie Gass pulled CU within 20-19.

A block from Carter and Collins tied the set at 21 and the two teams battled back-and-forth until Mackenzie Gass and Butler tallied back-to-back kills, giving CU a 28-26 victory and evening the match at one set apiece.

Cumberland used the momentum to jump out early in the third set, taking an 8-5 advantage and forcing a TNU timeout behind three kills from Carter, who would post six kills in the set. The Trojans pulled even at nine and after three more ties, Trevecca put together an 8-2 run to take control of the set.

Robertson recorded two kills and Wiggins, Eller and Kirsten Taylor each had one during the run. Johnson’s kill finished off the third set as it did the first, giving TNU a 2-1 edge.

Cumberland trailed early in the fourth set, including 11-5, but two kills from Wiseman and one each by Mackenzie Gass, Carter and Jordan helped CU tie the set at 12. Kills from Jordan and Butler put CU ahead, 15-14, but Trevecca reeled off 10 consecutive points behind the serving of Haley White.

Two kills from Sarah Ansley and a pair of blocks by Robertson and Johnson highlighted the run. Robertson’s final kill gave TNU the 3-1 victory.

Cumberland next plays at Georgetown College on Monday at 6 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs return home to face Talladega College on Tuesday, October 25, at 4 p.m. and will play Union University on Oct. 27 and Lyon College on Oct. 28, both at 6 p.m.