Volleyball - Tue, Sep. 18, 2012
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BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Senior Brooke Porter matched her season-high for digs with 16 as she helped the Union volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep over visiting Pikeville (Ky.) on Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs won 25-20, 25-20, 25-19 for their second win in a row, improving their record to 5-8 on the year.

Pikeville dropped to 2-7 with the loss.

Porter's 16 digs gives her 980 for her career, placing her 20 shy of joining the 1,000-dig club. She also served up a season-high five aces. Porter had twice before had five aces in her career - once as a freshman in 2009 and once as a sophomore in 2010.

In the opening frame, Union maintained control throughout but never seemed able to put Pikeville away. Up 16-14, Union put together a 7-1 surge to take a 23-15 advantage. Porter had two aces during the run. However, Pikeville battled back to pull within 24-20 before Union scored the set-winning point on a Lady Bear service error for the 25-20 decision.

Pikeville led for much of the second set and was up by as much as five points twice at 8-3 and 11-6. Down 14-12, Union used a 4-0 run to take the lead and never looked back. After Pikeville cut the deficit to 17-16, Union reeled off five consecutive points with Hollie HopkinsTia Kline and Caity Merritt each delivering a kill en route to the 22-16 cushion. Once again, Pikeville made it 24-20, but a Merritt kill sealed the 25-20 Union set win.

Play went back and forth in the third set early on before Union used a 6-0 run to open up a 19-12 lead. Pikeville could not get any closer than five points the rest of the way as Union claimed the 25-19 set win and the 3-0 match victory.

Merritt led Union with nine kills, while Hopkins had eight kills and posted a .438 hitting percent (eight kills and one error in 16 attempts). Hopkins also had two total blocks. Christa Hicks and Cat Neumann each helped out with six kills, while Gabrielle Moore had 15 digs. Chandler Gray and Heather Fields registered 19 and 15 assists, respectively.

For Pikeville, Brittany Hodge led the way with nine kills, while Haley Johnson had 17 digs.

Union returns to action Thursday when it visits Tennessee Wesleyan in Appalachian Athletic Conference play. Match time is set for 6:30 p.m.