BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The Union volleyball team started Appalachian Athletic Conference play with a vengeance as it posted a 3-0 sweep over visiting Reinhardt (Ga.) on Thursday.
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in conference action with the 25-17, 25-18, 25-20 decision.
Reinhardt dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the AAC following the loss.
Sophomore Paige Moore led Union's attack with a match-high 12 kills. Seniors Hollie Hopkins and Cat Neumann each followed with eight, while junior Caity Merritt chipped in seven.
Union took control early in the opening set, racing out to a 9-2 advantage. During a 5-0 run, Gabrielle Kelly delivered two service aces. Reinhardt rallied and cut the deficit to 13-9 following a block by Libby Bradford and Shanariel Coffie. However, the Lady Eagles could not pull any closer as the Lady Bulldogs took 12 of the next 20 points to wrap up the 25-17, first-set decision.
Reinhardt showed some tenacity in the second set, maintaining the early lead. Down 13-10, Union turned the tide with a 6-0 surge. Hopkins and Christa Hicks each had a kill and block assist during the run as Union grabbed a 16-13 advantage. From that point on, Union steadily pulled away in claiming the 25-18 win for a 2-0 match lead.
The third set married the second as Reinhardt held control early on. The Lady Eagles owned a 16-13 cushion when Union reeled off four consecutive points for a 17-16 lead. The teams traded points before closed the match by winning seven of the final nine points for the 25-20 set win and the 3-0 match victory.
Heather Fields recorded 18 assists for Union, while Chandler Gray contributed 16. In addition to the two aces, Kelly posted 18 digs.
For Reinhardt, Amelia Moore led the way with 10 kills.
Union returns to action Saturday in a tri-match at the University of Rio Grande (Ohio). Union will face Lourdes (Ohio) at 9 a.m. before taking on Rio Grande at 11 a.m.