BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The Union volleyball team will look to continue its successful season at the 2013 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament as the Bulldogs enter as the No. 2 seed, the league announced Sunday.
Union ended the regular season with a 24-8 record and 17-3 conference mark. As the season progressed, the Bulldogs seemed to only get better and stronger. Starting the year 2-4, Union won 22 of its final 26 games and did not lose back-to-back matches during that stretch.
The Bulldogs are led at the net by junior Paige Moore and senior Caity Merritt. The duo has posted double-digit kills in the same match 20 times this season with Moore posting 423 kills and Merritt 400 - both of which are career highs.
Midseason, Union was forced to switch its offensive scheme from a 6-2 to a 5-1 due to injuries, but junior Heather Fields has handled all the setting responsibilities just fine. In the team's 20 conference matches, she has tallied 665 assists and has 979 on the year, putting her 21 away from becoming the third different Bulldog to record 1,000 assists in a season.
Fields also leads the team in service aces with 45.
Sophomore Ana Calaza has made her mark as the conference's top libero, earning the AAC Libero of the Week seven times this season. On the year, she has tallied 687 digs for a 5.72 dig-per-set average. Calaza has served up 24 aces as well.
The AAC Tournament gets underway on Thursday with four quarterfinal matches with the semifinal and championship matches taking place on Friday. The tournament is being held at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn.
Bryan (Tenn.) is the regular-season champion and the No. 1 seed. The Lady Lions finished 30-3 overall and 19-1 in the AAC with their lone loss coming in a 3-2 thriller at Union.
The Bulldogs open tournament play on Thursday at 1 p.m. against No. 7 seed Virginia Intermont. The full tournament schedule is as follows:
Thursday, November 14
Game 1 - No. 1 Bryan (30-3) vs. No. 8 St. Andrews (13-20) - 11 a.m.
Game 2 - No. 2 Union (24-8) vs. No. 7 Virginia Intermont (12-17) - 1 p.m.
Game 3 - No. 4 Montreat (17-15) vs. No. 5 Reinhardt (16-8) - 3 p.m.
Game 4 - No. 3 Columbia (16-12) vs. No. 6 Milligan (15-21) - 6 p.m.
Friday, November 15
Game 5 - Winner of Game 1 vs. Winned of Game 3 - 10 a.m.
Game 6 - Winner of Game 2 vs. WInner of Game 4 - 12 p.m.
Game 7 - Championship Match - 4 p.m.
The tournament champion receives an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
For information, please check out the AAC tournament page.