The gym floor shone like glass last night as the lights were turned on for the first home volleyball game of the season began. The new red bleachers were filled with supportive students eager to cheer their Lady Bulldogs onto a victory.
“Playing at home was great,” Darrin McClure, Union’s volleyball head coach, said. “We had a great crowd and it was a lot fun.”
Union played Christian Brothers University for their first conference home game.
The Lady Bulldogs were getting kill after kill in their first match against Christian Brothers University. Hannah Huguley, senior family studies major, continually set her hitters up for the perfect kill that would end with a congratulatory fist bump and quick encouraging remarks from teammates in the small huddle between serves.
Union won their first set against Christian Brothers 25-21. Union controlled the first set handedly, only being down 2 points, 8-10, once. Deja Moorer, senior sports psychology major, clinched the winning point with a kill that sent fans into a roar of applause.
After a well-played first set, Union headed into the second set encouraged and strong. Union and Christian Brothers fought back and forth, trading possessions evenly until the very end. Union was up 23-22 before Christian Brothers was able to stop Union’s momentum and finish the set 23-25.
“We played very hard and there was never any time on the court that I doubted us walking away with the win,” McKenna Carter, senior public relation major, said. “I think we gave away the second set and that was hard for us to accept.”
Huguley agreed with Carter, “We knew that it was ours for the taking. We started out so strong and let it slip away.”
The Lady Bulldogs lost the next two sets against Christian Brothers, never again able to find their momentum and a consistency in playing.
“I think we have to get consistent moving forward,” Huguley said. “If we can get consistent, then we will be able to finish games better. We learned the importance of doing our own jobs the best we possibly can. If we each take care of our own jobs, we can control our side and make it our game.”
“I thought we did some good things,” McClure said. “And some things we just need to work on. At this point in the season we need to be more consistent. We don’t have to be perfect right now. We just need to handle the successes we have in a match and the failures better.”
This young Union team will have plenty of second chances as this season has just begun. Though losing their first home game was discouraging, the Lady Bulldogs will continue to prepare for the next game.