LEBANON -- Cumberland University held Mid-Continent University to a negative hitting percentage and defeated the Cougars for the 12th straight time Thursday night in TranSouth Conference volleyball action at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Lady Bulldogs (12-3, 2-0) closed out MCU in straight sets, which they have done in all but one of the previous 11 meetings, including a sweep in Mayfield, Ky. , earlier this month. Cumberland took the first set 25-16 before winning 25-10 and 25-12 in the final two sets.
Cumberland started off strong, outhitting the Cougars (2-10, 0-6) .355 to .094 in the opening set. Angelyn Stanton started off the match with a kill on the first point and recorded four in the set. Stanton, who was named the Music City Star of the Game, finished the night with eight kills and four block assists. MCU battled to two ties, the latest coming at 14-14, but the Bulldogs finished on an 11-2 run, including the last six points.
CU forced 11 Mid-Continent errors in the second set and used an even stronger finish to claim the 25-10 win. The Lady Bulldogs opened up a 9-3 lead on the strength of six consecutive points before the visitors made it a three-point game with a 5-1 run. But from there Cumberland reeled off six more points until the Cougars temporarily stopped the momentum with a timeout and a kill on the next point. Jessica Gericke answered with a kill of her own and the senior from Freeburg , Ill. , went to the service line and closed out the set earning seven points in a row.
The scoring streak carried over into the third and final set as Taylor Denney served five straight points, including one of her five aces on the night. Cumberland later added stretches of four, six and four consecutive points to close out the match.
The Lady Bulldogs finished the night hitting .310, with Kaysi Arnold and Gericke recording seven and six kills, respectively. Mid-Continent had an attack percentage of negative .023 in the match.
Jaclyn Rodriguez had 17 digs for the winners, while Taylor Denney and Meghan Gass collected 18 and 10 assists, respectively.
The Bulldogs return to the court Friday at 1 p.m. against the University of Rio Grande as part of the TranSouth/Mid-South Volleyball Classic. A total of 12 teams – six from each league – will be in the Cedar City for the two-day tournament that begins at 9 a.m. In all 24 matches will take place on two courts with each team competing in four apiece. A complete schedule for the tournament can be found at http://www.gocumberlandathletics.com/volleyball/2010classic/ .