BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Cat Neumanncame up huge when it mattered, registering six of her match-high 16 kills during the fourth set in leading Union to a 3-1 Appalachian Athletic Conference win over visiting Montreat (N.C.) on Saturday.
The Lady Bulldogs extended their win streak to three matches and their conference win streak to seven with the 25-16, 24-26, 25-17, 25-13 decision. Union improves to 11-12 overall and 9-1 in the AAC, while Montreat falls to 13-10 overall and 9-3 in conference play.
In the fourth set, Union led 13-9 when Neumann (Louisville, Ky.) began to take over. She hammered home four kills during a 10-4 surge to help extend Union's lead to 23-13. The Lady Bulldogs closed out the victory with kills from Karina Ramos (Presidente Prudente, Brazil) and Lauren McMillan (Corbin, Ky.) for the 25-13 decision and the 3-1 match victory.
McMillan had a solid, all-around match with 11 kills, four digs and four service aces. Caity Merritt (Abingdon, Va.) and Amelia Cantrell (Georgetown, Ky.) followed with eight and seven kills, respectively, and Kalia Yasak (Kula, Hawaii) registered a double-double with 48 assists and 12 digs.
Union returns to action Tuesday when it plays host to Berea (Ky.). Match time is set for 6:30 p.m.
In the opening set, Union appeared to be in complete control as it built a 21-9 cushion. But Montreat rallied to cut the deficit to 22-16. During their surge, the Lady Cavaliers got two kills from Alyssa Kaufman.
The Lady Bulldogs, though, rebounded to net the final three points of the set to take the 25-16 win.
The second set went back and forth with neither team having much of a lead at all. Union lead 8-3 early on, but after that, no one had more than a three-point edge. The Lady Bulldogs were on the brink of winning the set, up 24-23 with the serve. Yet, Montreal scored the final three points with Syndey Koon registering two kills to give the Lady Cavs the 26-24 decision to tie the match at 1-1.
The third set was another see-saw battle as neither team seemed to be able to grab control. Up 19-16, Union began to surge as it reeled off three points for a 22-16 lead. After Montreat made it a five-point game, the Lady Bulldogs closed out the match with three-straight points as McMillan and Ramos recorded back-to-back kills to seal the 25-16 decision.
Union used a 7-0 rally midway through the fourth set to break open a 20-9 cushion en route to the 25-13 victory and the 3-1 match win.
Koon led Montreal with 15 kills with Kaufman following with 14. Natalie Nieman helped out with 40 assists and 10 digs, and Ellen Goodman recorded a match-best 24 digs.
For Union, Brooke Porter (Louisville, Ky.) and Vitoria Oliveira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) chipped in 13 and 10 digs. Ramos finished with six kills, seven digs, three total blocks and two aces.