Welcome to The Doghouse, a weekly column recapping Union University sports action from the weekend.
Union’s volleyball team went 0-2 this weekend. Men’s soccer lost to West Alabama, while women’s soccer had one tie and one win. On Saturday, men’s and women’s cross country had top ten finishes at the invitational at Trevecca Nazarene. The Union Jaxx club ultimate team placed fourth in a tournament at Samford University.
Friday, the volleyball team lost at No. 24 North Alabama in a straight sweep. The set scores were 25-10, 25-12, and 25-23. North Alabama out-killed Union 46-23. North Alabama is now 11-1 overall, and 3-1 in conference.
The next day, the Lady Bulldogs lost in another straight sweep at Alabama Huntsville. The set scores were 25-18, 25-17, and 25-15. In each set, Union scored first, but UAH quickly jumped out to leads ranging from six to ten.
Against UAH, Abbie Rahn, freshman, led with 11 kills, Hannah Hugely, senior, led with 29 assists and Audrey Cagle, freshman, led with 16 digs.
This win puts UAH at 9-2 overall, and 4-1 in conference. Union is now 4-9 overall, and 1-4 in the Gulf South Conference.
On Friday, men’s soccer fell behind early against West Alabama, as Harrison Roberts scored in the 28th minute for the Tigers. Union, however, tied the game within thirty seconds, with a goal from freshman Cole Asfour.
In the second half, West Alabama’s Clay Green scored on a penalty kick in the 51st minute of play to go ahead 2-1. Two minutes later, Green found the net again. The game remained 3-1 for the remaining 38 minutes of play.
In the game, freshman Pedro Haniel played in goal for the first half with six saves, while junior Igor Luczensky had three saves in the second half.
The Bulldogs’ are have a 3-5 record after the game.
In women’s soccer, Friday’s game at Mississippi College ended in a 2-2 draw.
Mississippi College scored first with a goal from Samantha Carson in the 11th minute of play. No other players would score for the remainder of the half.
In the 74th minute, Union scored their first goal with a shot from junior Olivia Schmitke. Less than ten minutes later, Lauren Kate Carter regained the lead for Mississippi College with a goal of her own.
As the game neared the end of regulation, sophomore Summer Senn found the net in the 87th minute of play to push the game into overtime. Neither team scored again. Mississippi College outshot Union 21-9 in the game.
Two days later, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Delta State and dominated on the field.
The first score was a connection from freshman Austen DeLoach to sophomore Diana Barajas in the 41st minute. This was the only goal of the half.
Within the first 12 minutes of the second half, Union scored three additional goals. Two were from senior Kayleigh Patterson. The second from Patterson was a header off of a cross from senior Kelsey Wilkes. The third goal in this span, and the final of the game, came from sophomore Hannah Hillburn. Hillburn’s shot hit the side post and found the net, recording a second assist for Wilkes.
Sunday’s four goals is a season high for the Lady Bulldogs. Also, seven players have scored so far this season, while last year only five scored all season.
The Lady Bulldogs are 2-3-2 on the season.
In men’s cross country, the team posted a 10th place finish in the Trevecca Nazarene 8k. The event included 12 teams and 98 runners. Union’s team time was 2:15:41.
Jacob Whitney led the way for Union, finishing seventh overall with a time of 26:50. Will Donelson is healthy but not 100 percent, taking 40th in the race. Aineah Kipkemboi took 74th, Alex Russell came in 78th, and Ben Noland finished 83rd.
Head Coach Gary Johnson said, “All runners seemed to have difficulty with the heat Saturday, and our times were not what we had hoped for this course.”
For the women’s team, Union saw a third place finish at Trevecca Nazarene. The 5k event included 14 teams and 111 runners. Union’s team time was 1:39:42.
Janey Berends led the way for Union with a time of 19:20, finishing fifth.
Sarah Fickley took 13th, Amy McKelvey took 18th, Abby Berends came in 19th, Amanda Leatherwood took 32nd, Rebecca Tankersly came in 36th, Lindsey Jakeman took 48th, Rebecca Dalton took 58th, and Gabbie Stevens finished 64th.
Next, cross country will face multiple conference rivals, and hopes to use this invitational as motivation.
“Sometimes facing adversity brings out the best in people,” Johnson said. “I am hopeful that will be the result with our team.”
In ultimate, the Union Jaxx finished fourth in a tournament hosted by Samford University this weekend.
“Being the first tournament of the fall offseason, most teams were trying to play their rookies a good bit to let them get a feel for the game,” said Jaxx captain Garrett Wilson, senior.
The tournament had two pools of four teams who played round robin on Saturday. Union was in Pool B, in which they went 1-2, good for third in the pool.
Game 1 was a back and forth contest with a squad from the University of Alabama – Birmingham. UAB won 12 to 11.
Game 2 for the Jaxx was against Alabama Huntsville. UAH dominated the first half, taking a 7 to 3 halftime lead, but the Jaxx came back to make it a close game. The final was a Jaxx loss, 13 to 11.
Game 3 of pool play for the Jaxx was against Jacksonville State. The Jaxx fell behind early, trailing 3 to 0. The rest of the game, however, was all Union, as the Jaxx pulled off a 12 to 9 victory.
On Sunday, the eight teams in the tournament were placed in one bracket.
“The biggest thing we wanted to focus on, besides having fun, on Sunday was the importance of sidelines,” said Wilson. “[Also], the faster we could set up our offense and the faster the cuts came out of the stack, the better our offense would perform.”
Union’s first round game was an even matchup with the host Samford University Dogma. Union led 7 to 6 at half, and the game remained close until time neared expiration. A hard cap was called at a score of 9 to 9, meaning the next point wins. The Dogma scored, and the Jaxx lost 10 to 9.
In the consolation bracket, Union faced Alabama Birmingham’s second team in the field. The Jaxx came out on top 12 to 10.
In their final game of the tournament, the Jaxx had a rematch with the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in a game for fourth place. Union came out firing and took a 7 to 1 halftime lead. The final score was 13 to 2.
“This tournament’s energy and bonding we experienced will be the catalyst for the rest of the fall season as we will continue to see growth and development of skill,” Wilson said.
At the tournament, senior Jeff Williams was the team’s overall MVP and freshman Riley Boggs was the Jaxx Rookie of the Weekend.
“One of the hardest things to teach rookies is to come out with intensity and work extremely hard especially defensively,” Wilson said. “But these guys did just that from the first to the last game of the tournament. That gets me extremely excited about this season.”
Looking ahead, this coming weekend is Family Weekend at Union. Friday, women’s and men’s soccer host Shorter University at 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., while volleyball hosts Valdosta State at 7 p.m. Saturday, volleyball hosts West Florida at 1 p.m. and the Union Jaxx host Vanderbilt at 3 p.m. Sunday, women’s and men’s soccer host Lee University at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Men’s and women’s cross country travel to Alabama Huntsville on Saturday.