November 11, 20221st2nd3rd4th5thFinal
Bethel (TN)25212520102
.168Hitting Pct..225
173Total Attacks160
Hannah McGowan - 26
KillsIsabella Curcio - 10
Harlee Kate Reid - 10
Nayeli Vilchez - 54
AssistsNicole Bott - 23
Nayeli Vilchez - 2
AcesNicole Bott - 4
Hannah McGowan - 19
DigsShea Moore - 11
Katie Willis - 4.0
BlocksLuciana Arena - 6.0
WVB Defeats Bethel, Moves onto MSC Championship
Friday, November 11, 2022
WVB Defeats Bethel, Moves onto MSC Championship
The team celebrates after an Izzy Curcio kill.

Bowling Green, Ky.-- Cumberland makes program history with a 3-2 win over No.6 seed Bethel University to move onto the Mid-South Conference Championship.

For the first time since joining the conference, Cumberland women’s volleyball has secured a semifinals win to battle for a chance at a conference championship. 

Izzy Curcio and Harlee Kate Reid had big nights for the Phoenix, tying for a team-high of ten kills. Reid also added nine digs in the effort, while Curcio put away three block assists.

The Wildcats were led by Hannah McGowan who had a match-high 26 kills.

Set one fell in favor of the Wildcats after a long back and forth battle to point 25. Bethel played strong at the net for their best attack percentage of the night at .303 compared to Cumberland’s .118 start. Bethel ran away at the 15-15 tie with a 5-0 run that put them at an advantage to win the set. Elaine Shaneyfelt went on a three point serving run-during which she picked up an ace- to give Cumberland some hope but the Wildcats were able to hold on for a 25-20 win.

The Phoenix picked up the intensity at the net and put away 13 kills in set two to tie up the match. Cumberland went on three 3-0 runs early on to give them a lead that they were able to hold onto for the entire set. Back-to-back kills from Hazel Konkel out of the middle gave Cumberland a 10-5 advantage and the Phoenix cruised to a 25-21 win. 

Luciana Arena picked up the first two kills to start set three, but the Wildcats were determined to regain the game’s advantage. A five point run on Bethel’s side brought them to a three point edge at 10-7 and Cumberland struggled to break into the lead. The Wildcats controlled the rest of the set, expanding the lead as far as five points at 20-15, and took the set 25-20 for a 2-1 advantage.

Set four was a heated battle from start to finish, with a great deal riding on the line for both teams. It was a point-for-point affair for the majority of the first half, but kills from Reid and Layal Wandel put Cumberland up by three at 11-8. The Wildcats responded with some ferocity to go on a six point run and take a three point lead of their own at 17-14. The set appeared to be headed in favor of Bethel as they earned the dominant point 20. However, a service error made by the Wildcats proved to be costly as Cumberland would go on to earn the next seven points of the set. Nicole Bott held it down on the service line and Bethel committed five straight attacking errors to keep Cumberland in the game with a 25-20 fourth set victory.

With the chance of a championship on the line, Cumberland was an unstoppable force in set five, only committing one attack error for a .333 hitting percentage, their best of the match. Wandel and Lauren Galvan picked up the first two kills for the Phoenix and Bott added a service ace for a 6-3 lead. Cumberland stayed ahead for the remainder of the match, with the help of kills from Curcio, Reid, and Konkel. The Wildcats were unable to recover their early disadvantage and Konkel ended the match with a kill off of the hands of her blockers at 15-10.

This win gives Cumberland a bid to the NAIA National Tournament, another first in program history. The selection show will take place on Monday, November 14.

The Phoenix will fight for a championship title tomorrow evening at 5. They will face the regular season champions and No.1 seed, Campbellsville University. The teams split this season, each winning on their home courts when facing each other.