KINGSPORT, Tenn. - The Union volleyball team got off to a sluggish start but finished in dominating fashion as the second-seeded Bulldogs swept No. 7 seed Viriginia Intermont 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday.
Union (25-8 overall) moves on to Friday's semifinal round to face No. 3 Columbia (S.C.), whic sweep No. 6 Milligan (Tenn.). The semifinal is set for 12 p.m.
"We came out and felt our way through the first set," said Union coach Jeremy Wise. "Then in set two, we started running our game plan better and reading the plays. The ladies caught fire in the second set and never looked back.
"I am proud of their play and glad to advance to the semis tomorrow."
The Lady Cobras (12-18 overall) gave Union all it could handle in the opening frame, forcing the set to go a few points extra. However, the Bulldogs prevailed 27-25.
From that point on, Union cranked its game up a couple of notches and rolled to 25-10 and 25-9 to complete the sweep.
Three Bulldogs recorded double-digit kills with Paige Moore leading the way with 13. Karina Ramos and Caity Merritt followed with 10 apiece. Heather Fields registered a double-double with 32 assists and 10 digs. Ana Calaza posted 15 digs, and Summer Manning added 13.
Ashleigh Manke paced Virginia Intermont with 11 kills.
By the Numbers
- This is the first time Union advanced to the semifinal round since 2011.
- Moore and Merritt now have had double-digit kills in the same match 21 times this season.
- Fields became the third different player to record 1,000 assists this season, joining Amanda Bowling and Monica Moreland, both of whom accomplished the feat multiple times. Fields has 1,011 assists on the year.