PIKEVILLE – Maci Lerno tallied 19 kills and picked up eight digs to lead Cumberland (Tenn.) past the University of Pikeville 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-19) at the UPIKE Gym on Friday night.
The Bears drop to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in Mid-South Conference play, while the Bulldogs improve to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the MSC.
It was a tight match in every set, evident by the close hitting percentages with Cumberland doing slightly better at .214 to .198. The big difference was how many times the Bulldogs were able to set up in their offense, taking 103 swings compared to 81 for the Bears.
Errors also hurt UPIKE as it finished with three on receptions, nine serving and one ball-handling miscue.
A balanced Bear attack kept things close throughout the night as Amari Eadie led the way with eight kills, followed by seven each from Sydney Hall and Connor Cook. Cassidy Tackett chipped in with five kills.
Hall paced the defensive effort with four blocks and Rachel Murphy picked up 11 digs. Savanna Zakman finished with 26 assists, while Cumberland’s Sara Glassman dished out 32.
One stat of note was the Bulldogs’ Amanda Worrell tallying a near-perfect hitting performance, finishing with seven kills on eight swings for a .875 mark.
In the first set, UPIKE was tied with Cumberland as late as 16-16, but the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run and stayed in front by at least five points the rest of the way. The Bears held a 19-17 lead in the second set, but allowed CU to go on an 8-3 run to steal the frame.
Up 2-0 overall, Cumberland led the entire third set, leading by as many as six points at the final 25-19 score.