SEWANEE – Junior Sheridan Jones continued her solid play at the Sewanee Invitational, recording a team-high 26 kills in two games as the Bulldogs split the final two games to finish the weekend with a 3-1 record.
Cumberland defeated Brescia University (1-4) in straight sets before falling in a 3-2 heartbreaker to Piedmont College (4-1) to bring a close to the four-game weekend.
The Bulldogs (4-1) came to play in their first match on Saturday, coasting to a three-set victory. After an inauspicious start, CU found itself trailing 18-13. The squad rallied, scoring 12 of the final 17 points to earn a 25-23 win.
Five errors from the Bearcats coupled with multiple kills by Jones, Jennifer Daniels, Rylee Butler, and Mackenzie Gass led the charge to an opening-set win.
Set two found the Bulldogs taking control, grabbing a 20-12 lead and coasting to the 25-17 win.
In the third stanza, CU dominated from start to finish after jumping out to a 20-3 advantage, including a stretch of 14 straight points. When the dust settled, Cumberland completed the sweep with a 25-9 win.
The Bulldogs continued their success in the opening set of match two, edging Piedmont in a tightly-fought 25-19 win. The Lions bounced back in the second set with a victory by the same score.
After trading wins in sets three and four, the two clubs would head to the rubber game looking for a victory to conclude the weekend.
Tied 4-4 to open the set, Piedmont rattled off five straight points, forcing CU head coach Dewayne Deering to call a timeout. The Lions came out of the break with two out of the next three points to take a commanding 12-5 advantage as Deering conceded his final timeout.
The Bulldogs responded out of the second break scoring eight of the next 10 including a pair of kills by Michelle Daniels and an ace from Kalee Kendrick, leaving the score at 14-13 in favor of the Lions. Not content to let the match slip away, Piedmont answered with a kill from Jackie Campbell to end the contest and hand Cumberland its first loss of the season.
CU will open Mid-South Conference play Tuesday in a home matchup against Lindsey Wilson. The No. 19 Blue Raiders were picked in the MSC Preseason Poll to finish second in the conference. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.