Mikayla Wickham led the squad with 14 kills and Amanda Worrell tacked on 11, her first double-figure outing of the season. Taylor Kasper posted 22 digs and Sara Glassman recorded 21 assists on the night.
The Phoenix (11-8, 2-3 Mid-South) started off strong in the opening set scoring four straight points and stretching the advantage to 10-2. The Running Eagles (14-6, 2-2 Mid-South) tacked on three points but Cumberland continued to build on the advantage with a kill by Worrell and Wickham and two points by Masa Nalovic for a 19-10 lead. CU allowed Life University to score just three more points in the stanza before securing a 25-13 win off of two errors and a service ace by Kasper.
A kill by Isidora Markovic and two errors on the Running Eagles playing in the Phoenix favor helping them take a 4-2 advantage in the second set. Four unanswered points for Life University pulled them within three points, 10-7. A 4-2 run for Life kept them within three and a 4-1 spurt knotted the set at 18. Each team fought point-for-point and a kill by Zykeria Allen and an error on the Phoenix secured the second set for the Running Eagles, 25-23.
Both teams rallied in the third stanza, tying the score five times before Cumberland took the lead with a kill by Markovic and an attack error on life, 13-11. Three errors on the Phoenix played to the Running Eagles advantage evening the score at 14. CU regained the advantage but it wasn’t long before Life made another comeback to tie the score at 19. Three straight points for the Running Eagles gave them a one point advantage but an error knotted the score at 22.
Two errors on Cumberland tacked on the final two points for Life University before Cumberland closed out the third set, with a point from Nalovic, an error and kill by Markovic, 26-23.
The fourth set looked much like the third with both teams going back-and-forth, tying the score six times to start the stanza. A 7-3 run for Life University gave them a 15-11 lead continuing to stretch the advantage to 19-13. Cumberland added on three more points in the frame before the Running Eagles scored six more, claiming the fourth set, 25-16.
Life University scored the opening two points in the fifth frame but Cumberland responded with five consecutive points for a 5-2 lead. Two errors on the Running Eagles helped the Phoenix to a 7-3 advantage before three kills by Liz Mann pulled Life within two, 8-6. Cumberland tried to stay ahead, but Life evened the score five times before two errors on the Phoenix were the deciding factor in the match, sending Life University to a 17-15 fifth-set win.
Allen collected a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs and Amber Harris added 27 assists.
The Phoenix will return to play on Tuesday against Campbellsville University for Faculty and Staff Appreciation night here at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center at 7 p.m.