BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - It wasn't easy, but it was a win nonetheless for the Union volleyball team. Visiting Tennessee Wesleyan pushed Union to the limit, but the Lady Bulldogs were up to the task as they recorded the 3-2 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory on Tuesday.
Union has never lost to Tennessee Wesleyan since joining the AAC in 2002, but it was taken to the limit in the 25-18, 21-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-10 decision. In fact, it had been since 2005 since Union dropped a set to the visiting Lady Bulldogs.
With the win, Union improves to 13-14 overall and 9-3 in conference play. Tennessee Wesleyan falls to 7-10 overall and 3-9 in the AAC.
Paige Moore and Christa Hicks led Union with 11 kills with Hicks also recording four total blocks and three service aces. Brooke Porter posted a double-double with career-high 10 kills and 11 digs. Chandler Gray also had a double-double with 20 assists and 11 digs to go along with three aces.
Down 8-7 in the first set, Union used an 11-3 stretch to open up an 18-11 lead. Tennessee Wesleyan cut the margin to four, but Union finished the set on a 4-2 surge to wrap up the 25-18 decision.
The second and third sets were mirror images of one another. Tennessee Wesleyan jumped up to a large lead - 18-10 in set two and 18-11 in set three, and Union attempted a comeback. However, Tennessee Wesleyan held on for identical 25-21 decisions in both sets to grab a 2-1 match lead.
Union appeared to regain control in set four, building a 14-6 advantage early on. Yet, Tennessee Wesleyan stormed back and scored eight of the next 10 points to pull within 16-14 of Union. Tennessee Wesleyan eventually pulled even at 23-all thanks to an Amy Lokker kill. Union, though, claimed the final two points, winning the set on a Porter ace to take the 25-23 decision and even the match at 2-2.
In the fifth set, Union raced out of the gates to a 7-0 lead. Still, Tennessee Wesleyan would not go away and slowly cut the deficit to 12-10 following a Kaylan Powers kill. But Union took the final three points off of back-to-back kills by Hicks and another kill by Moore, giving Union the 15-10 set win and 3-2 match victory.
Union returns to action on Thursday when it visits Bryan (Tenn.) in another AAC contest. Match time is set for 6:30 p.m.