Special to The Mountain Advocate
The Union College volleyball team received a match-high 12 kills from Marissa Elam (SO/Muncie, Ind.) as the Bulldogs defeated St. Andrews, 3-1, in Appalachian Athletic Conference action Friday night inside Robsion Arena.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 7-2 on the season and 2-0 in AAC play. St. Andrews falls to 1-3 and 0-2 in conference action.
“We played a little stronger than the last time out,” head coach Jeremy Wise said. “The offense looked a bit better, but we still killed ourselves with unforced errors.”
The first set saw the Knights jump out to a 3-0 lead, but the Bulldogs battled back with 10-3 run, including two kills each from Rachel Andrews (SO/Louisville, Ky. ) and Elam. Back-to-back service aces from Sullivan Owens, pulled Knights within 19-16.
Union remained calmed and closed out the first set on two straight kills from Maggie McGraw (FR/Elkhorn, Wis.) and one by Julia Edmonds (JR/Burlington, Ky.) to take a 25-22 set win.
The second set saw Union come out on fire as Chandler Gray (SR/Alexandria, Ky.) led a service rally that saw the Bulldogs rattle off 10 straight points. The 10-0 stretch was highlighted by four attack errors from St. Andrews. Leading 19-11, the Bulldogs cruised to a 25-17 set win as the Knights continued to make errors.
In what turned out to be the most exciting set on the night, the Knights and Bulldogs went back and forth, but four straight attack errors by the Knights saw the Bulldogs lead extend to 19-17. St. Andrews fought back and took a 22-19 lead on several Bulldog miscues.
An Andrews kill and Knights ball handling error, pulled the Bulldogs within 25-22, with hope of coming back. The hope was short lived as Angelica Arroyo hammered home a kill to give the Knights a 25-22 set three win.
The final set on the evening saw the Bulldogs run out to an early 10-6 lead. A kill from Nora Darrhar, capped off a Knights run, pulling them within 15-14 of the Bulldogs.
Two service aces from Ana Calaza (SR/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and back-to-back kills from Edmonds and Andrews gave the Bulldogs a 22-17 lead as they looked to close out the match.
Kills from Elam and Andrews sealed the Bulldogs second conference win of the season as they took a 25-20 match four win.
“We were able to bounce back in the fourth set, which was well played by both teams,” Wise said. “We buckles down at the end and pulled out another good conference win.”
Elam led the Bulldog attack with 12 kills, while Edmonds and McGraw finished with 10 each. Elam finished the match with a blistering .357 hitting percentage.
After missing the last match due to a back injury, Calaza came back out on fire, she finished with a match-high 27 assists while also contributing five assists.
In the assists department, Gray led the way with 22 assists and Summer Manning (SR/Taylor Mill, Ky.) contributed 12 off the bench.
The Bulldogs will host Columbia (S.C.) tomorrow at 1 p.m. and Cumberlands (Ky.) at 5 p.m. in their first tri-match of the season.