LEBANON, Tenn. – A game-high seventeen kills from Cumberland’s Mackenzie Gass were not enough to defeat Bethel University Friday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center, as the Bulldogs were defeated in four sets.
Despite totaling more kills on the night and a slightly higher hitting percentage, the Bulldogs were defeated by BU on their annual Dig Pink Night.
The first point of the match came on a Gass kill, one of her seven in the set. After a 7-7 tie, CU scored four straight to pull ahead 11-7, but the Wildcats hung on to tie the game at 19-19. Two timeouts by Cumberland were not enough to stop Bethel’s momentum, as the Wildcats went on to win set one 25-22.
In addition to 16 collective errors, set two saw six ties within the first twelve points. BU then took advantage of three Bulldog errors to take an 11-6 edge. Stas and Munoz kills sandwiched two Wildcat errors to bring CU back within one at 11-10. Bethel kept the lead the rest of the way, largely in part to Bulldog errors, and came away with a 25-19 victory.
The third set began in favor of CU, who jumped out to a 5-2 lead on a Gass kill. Bethel kept it close throughout the set, knotting it up at 19-19. Kills by Rylee Butler, Gass and Jacklyn Munoz put the Bulldogs ahead 23-20, and after a Bethel error, Munoz sealed the 25-20 triumph with a kill.
In the fourth set, Cumberland tied the game at 5-5 before the Wildcats took control after earning an 11-6 lead and then strung together eight unanswered points. CU did not back down, attacking the net hard and bringing themselves back to life in the contest. A Danielle Girardeau kill, in the midst of a 12-6 CU run, brought the Bulldogs to within 22-15. A timely service ace by Caitlin Carlander moved them closer, trailing 23-18, but two mistakes doomed Cumberland and ended the evening with a 25-18 Wildcat victory.
Munoz also had a big night up front, tallying 15 kills, while Desirae Burris contributed 27 assists, and Brooke Bowers had 23 digs.
For Bethel, Pollyanna Vitel totaled 14 kills and 18 digs, and Shea Sheppard had 26 assists.
On Tuesday, the Bulldogs travel to Campbellsville University for a 6 p.m. CT match, their last road trip of the regular season.