ATHENS, Tenn. - Union kicked the season off right on Wednesday, defeating host and Appalachian Athletic Conference rival Tennessee Wesleyan 3-0.
Union (1-0 overall, 1-0 AAC) rallied to take the first set 25-22 before going on to take the next two frames by the scores of 25-12 and 25-23 for the sweep.
In addition to being a season-opening victory for Union, it was also the first win under new head coach Jeremy Wise.
"It was nice to get the season finally started," he said. "A little weird to start the season in conference play, but any time you get a road win in the conference, the coach is happy.
"We played at crunch times and saw our potential in game two," Wise added. "Working on consistency throughout a match is our goal this weekend."
Senior Caity Merritt led Union with 12 kills with junior Paige Moore following with 11. Moore also had three service aces. Newcomer Ana Calaza registered 12 digs.
In the opening set, Tennessee Wesleyan owned a 22-21 lead, but Brooke Hill and Julia Edmonds teammed up for a block to tie the frame. Union took the final three points of the set thanks to a pair of attack errors by Tennessee Wesleyan and kill by Moore for the 25-22 decision.
Union dominated the second set, using a 20-10 stretch to open up a 21-11 cushion. Merritt delivered two kills during a final 4-1 rally to seal the 25-12 set two win.
Tennessee Wesleyan played with Union through the third set, tying the frame at 23-23. Union scored a kill by Moore and took advantage of Tennessee Wesleyan attack error to claim the final two points and the 3-0 sweep.
By the Numbers
- Since joining the AAC in 2002, Union is 24-0 versus Tennessee Wesleyan. The Lady Bulldogs have won 23 times during the regular season and in their only AAC Tournament meeting with Tennessee Wesleyan in 2009.
- Merritt posted double-digit kills 12 times in 2012, while Moore led the team with 20. The duo accomplished the feat in the same match nine times last season.
- Edmonds had a solid collegiate debut with five kills and five blocks.
- As a team, Union posted a hitting percentage of .232. Last season, Union recorded a higher hitting percentage than that only four times.
Union will next play four matches this weekend in the Rumpke Invitational at Georgetown (Ky.). On Friday, Union will play IU Southeast at 11 a.m. and Asbury (Ky.) at 3 p.m. On Saturday, Union will face Bethel (Tenn.) at 9:30 a.m. and Trinity Christian (Ill.) at 11:30 a.m.