TNU too much for Bulldogs
Thursday, November 1, 2012
TNU too much for Bulldogs
Jessi Stas posted a team-best 16 kills along with six digs in CU's 3-1 loss Thursday night against Trevecca Nazarene. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Jessi Stas tallied 16 kills and Mackenzie Gass added 11, but Trevecca Nazarene’s Kristen Johnson countered with 19 kills in a 3-1 victory over Cumberland on Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

The Bulldogs (8-25) fell behind two sets and were just three points from the match ending before mounting a rally and then holding on in the third set. CU started quickly in the fourth set as well, but a 16-4 spurt by the Trojans (20-12) put the match away for good.

Johnson accounted for nine of TNU’s 16 kills in the third set, but Stas and Gass combined for nine kills in the set for the Bulldogs. Loren Bennett and Delaney Hearne each posted five kills in the final set, part of a .256 hitting percentage for TNU in the victory.

Lacey Gregory led Cumberland with 15 assists and Desirae Burris added 10, while Jacklyn Munoz and Jenna Pavan each recorded eight digs to lead the Bulldogs.

Trevecca hit .462 in the opening set behind seven combined kills from Johnson and Persephonie Devereaux and backed that up with a .333 hitting percentage in the second set with kills from six different players. Meanwhile CU had just one more kill than error in the opening two sets, with TNU winning 25-12 and 25-14.

The third set was more nip-and-tuck from the beginning, with 15 ties and five lead changes throughout the set.

Kills from Bennett, Johnson and Zakia Jackson along with an error from the Bulldogs gave TNU a 12-10 edge, but a kill by Gass, and a service ace from Gregory tied it at 12.

Trevecca ran off eight consecutive points for a 21-13 advantage thanks to five errors from CU along with two kills from Johnson and one by Hearne. A kill from Stas finally ended the run for the Trojans.

Slowly the Bulldogs worked their way back into the set with help from TNU, which committed six attack errors in the next 10 points. Rylee Butler and Danielle Girardeau each registered kills for CU and the home team tied the set at 24 after a kill by Munoz and another error from Trevecca.

From there the teams went back-and-forth until consecutive attack errors from Jenna Robertson gave Cumberland a 30-28 set victory.

The Bulldogs jumped out 6-2 in the fourth set and led 8-4 after an error by Hearne before TNU took control. Bennett contributed four kills during the 16-4 run, Johnson posted two kills and a service ace and Hearne added two kills. Three straight kills from Stas staved off the final point before an error on the Bulldogs provided TNU a 25-17 win.

Cumberland plays its final match of the season at home on Tuesday at 6 p.m. versus St. Catharine College. Senior Brooke Bowers and the families of the team members will be honored before the match.