Volleyball - Sat, Sep. 21, 2013
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LEBANON, Tenn. - The Union volleyball team didn't make it easy, but the Lady Bulldogs got the job done on Saturday. Union posted a pair of 3-2 victories on the final day of the Volleydawg Classic to win the tournament.

Union began the day with a 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 19-25, 15-13 win over Shawnee State (Ohio). In its final match, Union saw its 2-0 match lead disappear against Lindenwood-Belleville. However, Union dominated the fifth set for the 25-21, 25-10 21-25, 20-25, 15-7 decision.

"I saw our team mature over the weekend," said head coach Jeremy Wise. "We eliminated a lot of unforced errors and made smart shots. Our offense lit fire this weekend with some great attack percentage games.

"We let a couple matches go the limit," Wise continued, "but I saw amazing passion and focus in those game fives. I am more than pleased with our ladies' performance this weekend."

The Lady Bulldogs were the only undefeated team in the tournament, going 4-0 to improve to 8-4 on the year.

The Volleydawg Classic was hosted by Cumberland (Tenn.) in Lebanon, Tenn.

Union gutted out a tough fifth set to defeat Shawnee. Tied at 9-9, the Lady Bulldogs opened up a 13-10 lead with the help of two kills from Brooke Hill and another from Caity Merritt. Shawnee State rallied to cut the margin to 14-13, but Merritt delivered her 19th kill of the match for the final point to give Union the win.

After Merritt, Paige Moore had 18 kills to go with five blocks. Chandler Gray had 27 assists and 10 digs, while Ana Calaza recorded 28 digs.

Versus Lindenwood-Belleville, Union dominated the first two sets to take 2-0 advantage. But the Lynx rallied to take the next two frames to force fifth set.

Union was all business in the final frame. Up 7-6, the Lady Bulldogs scored eight of the final nine points to win the set 15-7 and the match 3-2.

Moore led Union with 15 kills, while Merritt, Julia Edmonds and Karina Ramos each had eight kills. Edmonds and Hill each had five kills with Ramos following with four. Heather Fields and Gray each had 20 assists, and Calaza made 28 digs.

By the Numbers

  • The 19 kills by Merritt is the most by any Lady Bulldog this season and matches Merritt's career high. She registered 19 kills on Oct. 23, 2012, against Virginia Intermont.
  • Union posted 12 total team blocks against Shawnee State, marking the sixth time the team has registered double-digit blocks in a game this season.
  • The 28 digs by Calaza are a season high.
  • Union has won its last six matches.
  • The Lady Bulldogs are now 2-2 in five-set matches.

Up Next

Union returns home on Tuesday to host Virginia Intermont in Appalachian Athletic Conference play at 6:30 p.m.