BARBOURVILLE — A quartet of Bulldogs notched double-digit kills as the Union College volleyball team registered a 3-1 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) win over visiting Bluefield (Virginia) on Tuesday.
Rachel Andrews led Union with 13 kills with Maddie Jergesen following with 11. Elle Barnett and Marissa Elam rounded out the hit parade with 10 apiece.
The 25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18 win is Union’s seventh in a row as it upped its record to 14-6 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
“We focused well in late in three of the sets for the win tonight,” said head coach Jeremy Wise. “Unfortunately, we lost focus and worked hard instead of smart in the third set. We will learn from those mistakes this first time around (the conference schedule) and correct those for the second half of the season so we can get back to sweeping teams again.”
While the Bulldogs extended their win streak, they saw their stretch of 3-0 sweeps halted at four.
Union controlled the flow of the match during the opening two frames, winning 25-19 and 25-21.
Up 18-15 in the third frame, Union appeared en route to another sweep. However, Bluefield rallied. Down 21-20, the Rams closed out the set on a 5-1 spurt to take the set 25-22. A Lexie Austin kill put Bluefield up 24-21, yet a Barnett kill gave Union hope of a comeback. But it was not to be as Kaitlyn Shaver hammered home a kill for the set point, forcing a fourth frame.
The Bulldogs came out of the gate determined, opening up a 6-1 lead. Still, Bluefield fought back to cut the margin to 16-14. Union seized control and steadily added to its lead, ending the match on a Ivana Kazic ace for the 25-18 set win and 3-1 match victory.
Two milestones were achieved in the win. Senior Julia Edmonds registered her 700th career kill. With seven, she now has 704 to her credit. Meanwhile, Maggie McGraw collected her 500th career dig. After recording 10, she now has 506 in her two seasons at Union.
Kazic finished with 22 assists and nine digs, while Carson Gray had 21 assists and three service aces. Paulina Hileman came through with a match-high 24 digs.
The loss dropped Bluefield to 6-9 overall and 0-6 in the AAC.
Union returns to action Saturday when it travels to Waleska, Georgia for an AAC tri-match to face Columbia (South Carolina) and host Reinhardt (Georgia).