JACKSON, Tenn. - 9/15/2009 - The Union University volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Bethel (Tenn.) University 3-2 at Union’s Fred DeLay Gymnasium. With the win, Union remained perfect on the season at 14-0, and 3-0 in the TranSouth. Bethel dropped their first match of the season, falling to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in league play.
The 14-0 start for Union also tied a program record for best start to a season. Union started the 1998, 1999 and 2001 seasons with 14-0 records.
Bethel came on strong early as they were looking for their first win against Union in team history. The Lady Wildcats jumped out to an 11-1 lead in the first set, on their way to a 25-13 win. However, Union continued to work and battled through a close second set, before falling 25-19.
In the third set, Union took their first lead of the night at 3-2. The set boasted numerous ties including the latest coming at 18-18. Union then rattled off seven of the next 10 points to win 25-21. Union began to gain momentum in the fourth set, jumping out to a 9-5 lead, and never trailing, on their way to the 25-20 win.
In the fifth and final set, Union opened with a 4-0 run. However, Bethel rallied back to tie the set at 4-4. The set was tied at six, seven, nine, 10, 11 and 13 before Union reached match point at 14-13. Bethel received the serve from Union’s Kacie Ritter. Union’s Heather Lieberman dug the attack from Bethel, setting up Katie Adams for the assist on Kelsey Duling’s match-winning kill.
Union was led by junior Duling with 18 kills in the match. Heather Lieberman followed with 15 kills, while Anna Sims added seven kills. Adams posted 38 assists while Ritter led with 25 digs. Sims led Union with six blocks. Union’s season leader in kills, Marcela Madeira, did not play in the match due to sickness.
Bethel was led by Thaise Vieira with a match-high 32 kills. Adrianna Gonzalez and Jessica Vieira added 15 and 10 kills respectively. Abby Masters posted 56 assists, while Michele Cunha led with 33 digs. T. Vieira added three blocks.
Up next for Union will be another home conference match when Lyon (Ark.) College comes to Union on Tuesday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m.
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