BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore Paige Moore registered a season-high 19 kills Wednesday to help lead the Union volleyball team to a 3-1 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory over visiting Montreat (N.C.).
The Lady Bulldogs took the match by the scores of 25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21.
With the win, Union improves to 12-12 overall and 8-3 in conference play. Montreat falls to 15-11 overall and 8-4 in the AAC.
Moore, the reigning AAC Player of the Week, had a strong match at the net as she posted a .444 hitting percentage with 19 kills in 36 attacks with only three errors. She also registered four digs and one block.
Union struggled to start each set off well as Montreat held the early advantage in all four frames. The Lady Cavaliers led 4-0 in the first, 6-1 in the second, 4-1 in the third and 3-1 in the fourth. Inevitably though, the Lady Bulldogs battled back and finished each set strong.
In the first set, Union fell behind 7-2 early on before slowly clawing its way back. Up 15-14, Union finished off the set on a 10-3 run. Union reeled off seven consecutive points during the surge, taking advantage of a number of Montreat errors en route to the 25-17 decision.
The Lady Bulldogs found themselves down 7-2 against in the second set. Trailing 12-8, Union took the next four points to even the frame at 12-all. After a heavy amount of back-and-forth play, Union used a 4-1 stretch to grab a 24-19 lead following a Caity Merritt kill. However, Montreat rallied to cut the margin to one before Union scored the set point off a Lady Cav set error for the 25-23 win, putting the Lady Bulldogs up 2-0 in the match.
Montreat looked as if it was going to run away with the third set, piecing together an 8-1 rally to build a 24-18 lead. Union countered with a 5-0 run to make it a one-point game. Yet, Montreat scored the 25th point off an attack error for the 25-23 decision, making the match 2-1 in Union's favor.
The Lady Cavs appeared to have found the momentum they had been looking for and owned a 19-18 lead late in the fourth set. But once again, Union stormed back. A 4-1 run put Union up 22-20. A Hannah Bostic kill pulled Montreat within 22-21. Yet, three consecutive Lady Cavalier attack errors to close the frame gave Union the 25-21 set win and the 3-1 match victory.
After Moore, Christa Hicks registered 11 kills, while Heather Fields posted a double-double with 27 assists and 10 digs. Merritt finished eight kills and five total blocks including two solo blocks. Chandler Gray nearly missed a double-double with 16 assists and nine digs, and Gabrielle Kelly and Brooke Porter notched 22 and 12 digs, respectively.
Union returns to action Saturday when it hosts a tri-match. The Lady Bulldogs will play IU-Southeast at 9:30 a.m. and then No. 13 Georgetown (Ky.) at 3 p.m. IU-Southeast and Georgetown will play another at 12 p.m.