KINGSPORT, Tenn. - A great run came up short as No. 3 seed Union College lost 3-1 to King (Tenn.) College, the top seed, in the Appalachian Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament championship match.
Earlier in the day, Union defeated second-seed Bryan (Tenn.) College 3-1 to advance into the championship round and the Lady Bulldogs won 3-0 in first match of the championship over King.
In the decisive second-championship match. Union won the opening set 25-22 only to see King reel off the next three sets. The scores were 25-18, 25-19 and 25-16.
Stephanie Pateman (Weyburn, Canada) led the squad with 15 kills while Autumn Combs (Florence, Ky.) registered four blocks. The duo was named to the AAC All-Tournament team.
Brooke Vinovich (Somerset, Ky.) provided 12 kills and Suzannah Behnken (Tempe, Ariz.) led the team in the digs' category with 13.
Monica Moreland (Louisville, Ky.) only had 20 assists with 10 digs.
The loss ends the season for Union at 25-12. King advances to the NAIA National Championship with a record of 30-9.
The opening championship match was the 15th three-set sweep of the season for Union. The Lady Bulldogs used scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-23 to force the if-necessary contest.
Vinovich accounted for a team-best 13 kills along with 10 digs. Pateman recorded 12 kills.
Prindle also posted 10 digs and Moreland recorded 42 assists. Combs was credited with four blocks.
In the Bryan match, the losers' bracket final, Union took the fifth set 15-13 for the win. Bryan won the opening set 25-22. Union took the next with scores of 25-19 and 28-26. The match was evened by Bryan with a 25-22 fourth-set win.
Moreland surpassed her career high with 63 assists. She also recorded 10 digs with an ace.
Combs tied her career mark in the kills category with 13. The junior added six blocks.
Pateman was credited with 20 kills. Vinovich used 18 kills and 15 blocks for a double-double.
Prindle added 14 digs while Behnken provided 12 and Meg Donnelly (Middletown, Ohio) accounted for 10.
Lady Bulldog Notes
- In post-season play within the AAC, Union has a 0-8 record against King.
- Pateman was an All-AAC first-team selection while Combs was on the second team.
- Union lost both regular-season meetings with King.
- Pateman, Behnken and Marlee Cooper (Bloomington, Ill.) end their careers as Lady Bulldogs with 91 wins during their four years at Union. It is the most wins by a group of seniors and the only group with 90 or more wins.
- Over the last four seasons, Union suffered 63 losses, the fewest during any four-year span in the program's 17-year history.