RIO GRANDE, Ohio - Facing a 2-0 deficit in their second match of the day, the Union College volleyball team roared back to take a 3-2 (25-27, 20-25, 25-14, 25-15, 15-9) decision over Lourdes (Ohio) at the Aces in August Tournament at the University of Rio Grande on Friday Afternoon.
The Bulldogs, now 1-1 on the year, dropped their first match of the day and 2014 season to Taylor (Ind.), 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 19-25, 17-25).
Union 3, Lourdes 2
In hot and humid conditions inside the Newt Oliver Arena, the Bulldogs came out poised to win the first set of their match with the Gray Wolves, leading 24-23 late in a back and forth affair, and also in control of the serve.
Lourdes, however, battled back from the deficit, tying the match up at 24-all, then taking the set with back-to-back points after the match was tied once again at 25-25. Lourdes rode the momentum into the second set, notching a five point win in a set that saw just two lead changes and one tie.
With their backs up against the wall, the Bulldogs came out and dominated the third and fourth sets to set up a decisive, winner take all, fifth set.
Things started off well for Lourdes, as the Gray Wolves opened an early 4-2 lead in the set, only to see the Bulldogs come back once again, taking their first lead of the final set at 8-6 after an Ana Calaza (JR/Rio de Janerio, Brazil) kill. Once Union grabbed the lead, they never relinquished it the rest of the match, clinching their first win of the 2014 season on a Lourdes error near the net.
Overall, freshman Marissa Elam (FR/Muncie, Ind.) led the Bulldog attack in the win, hammering home 10 kills. Elsewhere, both Rachel Andrews (FR/Louisville, Ky.) and Paige Moore (SR/Louisville, Ky.) recorded eight kills, apiece, while Chandler Gray (JR/Alexandria, Ky.) notched a team-high 17 assists. On the defensive end, Calaza recorded 17 digs.
Taylor 3, Union 1
After getting off on a fast start in the their first set of the year, the Bulldogs struggled the rest of the way, as Taylor captured three straight sets to win it.
In the first set, the Bulldogs and Trojans engaged in a see-saw match, which came to a head with the score knotted up at 23-23. There, Union won the match with back-to-back points, first taking the lead on a Moore kill, then winning the set on an Elam service ace.
Taylor, however, came back from a deficit late the second set to take a 25-22 decision from the Bulldogs, then never looked back, coasting to the four set victory over the Bulldogs.
Overall, Elam led the Union attack in her first collegiate match, knocking home 13 kills, while recording 10 digs and three service aces. Moore was the only other Bulldog player in the match to record double-digit kills, notching 10 in the loss. Elsewhere, Gray recorded 18 assists, as well.
It will be a busy Saturday for the Bulldogs, as they finish off the Aces in August Tournament with three straight matches.
Things get underway at 11 a.m., where Union will take on Northwestern Ohio. At 1 p.m., the Bulldogs will entertain rival Cumberlands (Ky.), then end the weekend with a match with host Rio Grande (Ohio) at 3 p.m.