MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. - Things turned out to be tougher than they needed to be, but in the end, everything worked out as the Union volleyball team recorded a 3-1, Appalachian Athletic Conference win at Milligan (Tenn.) on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs dominated the first two sets 25-14 and 25-11. However, the Buffaloes made things interesting with a 26-24, third-set victory. Union won the fourth set but by the narrowest of margins, 25-23, to wrap up the 3-1 decision.
"Tonight, we started out like gangbusters and played a smart game," said Union coach Jeremy Wise. "Then to start set three, we came out flat and unfocused, letting Milligan back in the match.
"We need to focus and finish our matches this weekend as we have big games coming up."
The win improves the Bulldogs' record to 20-7 overall and 13-3 in the AAC. Milligan falls to 13-19 overall and 8-9 in conference play.
Paige Moore led Union with 19 kills, while Caity Merritt followed with 11. Heather Fields notched her eighth double-double of the season with 38 assists and 13 digs to go along with four service aces. Ana Calaza posted 27 digs.
By the Numbers
- The Bulldogs served up 12 aces, marking the third time they had over 10 in a match this season. Union posted 15 against Brescia on Sept. 14 and also had 12 versus Lindenwood-Belleville on Sept. 21.
- Fields leads Union with 37 aces on the year.
- With 5.0 team blocks tonight, Union has 194.5 for the year after having 166.5 in 2012.
- This is the first 20-win season for the Bulldogs since 2011 and the 12th in the 22-year history of the program.
Union will play three conference matches in two days this weekend. On Friday, Union will host Truett-McConnell (Ga.) at 6 p.m. on Friday. This is also the Bulldogs' 'Senior Night.' On Saturday, Union will play Reinhardt (Ga.) at 1 p.m. before taking on Bryan (Tenn.) at 4 p.m.