BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – Union College volleyball started the 2020 season off on the right foot on Tuesday, defeating Bluefield College (Va.) 3-1 in Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) play.
The 25-9, 24-26, 25-18, 25-14 victory puts Union 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the AAC, while Bluefield sits 0-1 overall and 0-1 in league play.
FAST START LEADS TO BUMP IN THE ROAD
Union cruised in the opening frame, jumping out to a 12-3 lead before closing out the set on a 7-2 run for the 25-9 decision. However, the Bulldogs could not found their rhythm in the second set as the trailed much of the way.
Down 19-13, Union chipped away at the deficit and eventually took a 21-20 lead thanks to a Bluefield attack error. A Shayna Baugh kill put the Bulldogs up 24-23, yet the Rams rallied to take the next three points for the 26-24 set win to even the match at 1-all.
In the third, Union quickly regained control by reeling off six straight points and opening up a 15-5 advantage. Bluefield battled back within 22-16, but kills from Emma Haglage and Baugh helped lock up the 25-18 set win.
The Rams led 6-5 early in the fourth, but a 4-0 spurt put the Bulldogs up for good. The margin swelled to 23-11 before Union closed out the 25-14 set win and the 3-1 match victory.
BULLDOGS OF THE MATCH
Baugh finished the night with six kills and five total blocks, including two solo blocks. The junior transfer also posted a .429 hitting percentage.
Freshman Michaela Cox had a solid debut as well, posting a team-high seven kills with a .538 hitting percentage.
Allison Ruddick picked up where she left off last season, registering a match-high 26 digs.
Mikayla Phillips notched 15 digs, while Alicia Sikora posted 14 assists and five digs.
Union served up eight aces on the night with Ruddick and Phillips each collecting three.
Bluefield struggled to put the ball in play as it committed 17 serving errors.
Newcomer Alison Smith hammered home six kills on the night.
Union has won the last six meetings against Bluefield and is 32-4 all-time against the Rams.
NEXT FOR THE BULLDOGS
Union hits the road on Saturday to face Montreat College (N.C.) in AAC play. First serve is set for 1 p.m.