BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The season is off to a bumpy start for the Union College volleyball team, but this was to be expected with virtually a brand-new team and a difficult schedule to open the campaign.
The Bulldogs participated in the Mid-South/Appalachian Athletic Crossover Challenge in Bowling Green, Ky., and finished 0-4. Two of the four opponents are ranked in the NAIA Top 20, including No. 1 and defending national champion Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.)
“We obviously didn’t get the results we wanted this weekend, but we did get a lot of experience and lessons that will help us improve and develop over the long season,” said head coach Jeremy Wise. “There were flashes of great play like scoring 22 points on the No. 1 team in the country and then almost taking a set off No. 17 Georgetown.
“The challenge of opening day versus these elite teams built some character and exposed weaknesses we need to address moving into this week’s matches,” he continued. “It was hard leaving the gym this weekend without a win, but there were lots of positives to take away like ending on a slugfest at 16-14 in a decisive fifth set. We know we have a brand-new over roster full of youth, but we will develop quickly if we continue to get great fight and energy from the team and it will all pay off down the stretch my being strengthen by all these early season challenges.”
Union opened the tournament on Friday with a pair of 3-0 losses to Lindsey Wilson and
Georgetown College. On Saturday, Union opened the day with a 3-0 loss to Cumberland University (Tenn.) but capped off play with a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Shawnee State University (Ohio).
One highlight of the weekend was junior Maddie Jergesen recorded her 500th career kill. She ended the season with 483 and hit the milestone on Saturday in the loss to Cumberland. After logging 24 on the weekend, she now has 507 for her career.
The Bulldogs appeared to on their way to a win against the Lady Bears of Shawnee State. Down 2-1, Union rallied for a 26-24 win in the fourth set to force fifth frame. The Bulldogs led 14-13 in the fifth and was serving for match point. Yet, Shawnee State closed out the match with a 3-0 rally to take the set 16-14 and the match 3-2.
Alyssa Gill had her best match of the young season with eight kills and seven blocks against Shawnee State. She finished the weekend with 34 kills. Marissa Davis logged a pair of 10-kill matches with 14 versus Shawnee State and 10 against Georgetown.
Jergesen recorded 10 kills over the four matches, as did Alysse Roosma.
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