November 01, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
Thomas More (Ky.)252125253
Cumberland Univ.182513221
.289Hitting Pct..140
142Total Attacks143
Emily - 16
KillsCarey - 14
Lizzie - 32
AssistsRodrigues - 20
Jenna - 3
AcesEdmonston - 2
Rodrigues - 2
Madison - 18
DigsEdmonston - 18
Lorentz - 5
BlocksArena - 6
Phoenix drop match, 3-1, to RV Thomas More
Friday, November 1, 2019
Phoenix drop match, 3-1, to RV Thomas More
Photo Credit: Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn.--The Phoenix fell in four sets in RV Thomas More’s first trip to Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena tonight.

Cumberland (19-13, 8-6 MSC) played a receiving votes Thomas More (21-6, 12-2 MSC) tough for the majority of the night, but when the team made mistakes they came in bunches. The teams were very comparable to each other in many of the major statistics with the exception of the attack.

Nicole Carey built off of her last match, matching her outing against Georgetown with another 14 kills from the middle of the court on a very impressive .458 attack percentage. Senior Masa Nalovic also broke into double digit kills with 12 of her own. Sadie Edmonston tied for the lead among all players with 18 digs.

Thomas More had a very efficient attack which was led by Emily Mohs and Jenna Mummert, earning match leading 16 and 15 kill, respectively.

Abby Akins got the Phoenix on the board, tying the game at 1-1 from which the teams traded punches reliant mostly on incredibly efficient attacking from both sides. They stayed tied until the middle of the set, 13-13, but a 6-0 Thomas More run pulled all the momentum onto their side. Nalovic broke the run with a soft touch that floated into the middle for a kill, but the Thomas More attack and some late set issues proved too much for Cumberland to come back from, 25-18.

Cumberland took an early 5-2 lead when Bianca Rodriguez struck a hard to receive serve that earned her an ace. The Phoenix extended their lead to 8-4 on what ended up being a rather bizarre rally, Carey earning a kill while falling backwards off a ball that bounced off her block into Mikayla Wickham and then back to her. The Saints quickly reasserted themselves in the set, but a crushing block from Wickham and Luciana Arena right back into the face of the Thomas More attack grabbed Cumberland a 17-16 lead. Jovanna Cernjanski set her team up at match point with an ace of her own 24-21, and then Carey ended the set with a kill after a great back-and-forth rally.

The third set was a struggle for the Phoenix, hitting a poor -.034 attack percentage, quickly falling behind the Saints. Edmonston’s second ace of the day cut the lead to 13-6, and an Arena block pulled momentum back to the Phoenix for a 3-0 run, but compounding mistakes saw Cumberland lose the set 25-13.

Cumberland jumped back from their third set woes to start the fourth with some momentum, Nalovic laying a strong kill across the net and out of the reach of a diving dig attempt by Thomas More for an early 5-2 lead. The Saints pulled back into the match, but back-to-back kills from Wickham moved the Phoenix ahead 11-10. The Cumberland momentum peaked when Carey and Akins combined on a block in the midst of a 4-0 Phoenix run, 18-12. Thomas More responded with a 10-0 run to take a commanding late set lead, 23-19. Lyssette Serna ended the streak with a kill that bounced off a Saints defender and sparked a 3-0 run to close the match to 23-22, but Thomas More responded to win, 25-23.

Cumberland faces Bethel at home this coming Tuesday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night in the team’s last home match of the season.