Bowling Green, Ky. – The Patriot volleyball team (27-11) is marching on in the Mid-South Conference Tournament after they swept Cumberland (Tenn.) 3-0 (28-26, 25-23, and 25-13) on Thursday afternoon. St. Catharine will now take on rival Georgetown (Ky.) on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET in the MSC tournament semifinals.
Leading the way for the Patriots was senior Rebecca Just (Louisville, Ky.). Just tallied yet another double-double with 17 kills and 17 digs. Cat Hall (Louisville, Ky.) also had a strong game on offense with nine kills and a .296 hitting clip.
Jordan Strickland (Lexington, Ky.) guided the Patriot offense with 31 assists while she also pitched in on defense with nine digs. Jodie Klein (Louisville, Ky.) and Emmalee Fleener (Louisville, Ky.) also had good defensive games with 13 and 10 digs, respectively.
The opening set was a back-and-forth battle that would force the set into extra points. The set was tied at 12-12 after an error on the Bulldogs (15-17), but they would then go on a 6-3 run to take an 18-15 lead forcing the Patriots to call a timeout.
St. Catharine would regain the lead after a kill by Mikaela Beck (Detroit, Mich.) and back-to-back Bulldog errors. Cumberland tied the set up at 26 apiece, but the set belonged to the Patriots after back-to-back kills by Rebecca Just and Cat Hall.
In the second set it was the Patriots who seized control early, but would have to battle back late in the set. After a Cumberland error, the Patriots held a 9-5 lead, but the Bulldogs came storming back with a 7-1 run forcing Lauryn Hyman to call a timeout.
The Bulldogs would continue to hold a steady two point lead until Mikaela Beck, Jessie Stone (Fredonia, Ky.) and Rebecca Just tallied three straight kills giving the Patriots a 20-18 lead. Cumberland once again battled back with a 4-0 run to take a 22-20 lead, but just like the first set, the Patriots responded with a 5-1 run of their own to win the set 25-23.
St. Catharine controlled the third set from the first serve. After a Bulldog error and back-to-back kills by Just and Stone the Patriots held a 3-0 lead. Cumberland would battle back to tie the set up a seven apiece.
The Patriots would battle back with five straight points to take a 12-7 lead forcing the Bulldogs to call a timeout. After leading 14-9, a kill Cat Hall would spark a run to give the Patriots a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Hannah Just (Louisville, Ky.) would serve up the next eight points to give her team a commanding 23-9 lead. St. Catharine would finish off the sweep after winning the third set 25-13.
It was a combination of offense and defense that led the Patriots. The Patriot offense posted 41 kills and a .240 attacking percentage. The Patriot defense controlled the net with eight total blocks while holding the Bulldogs to a .104 hitting clip.