Co-written by Shelby Britt and Michael Chapman
Union sports had an exciting weekend highlighted by the men’s soccer team pulling off a giant road upset against an undefeated Mississippi College squad and the Union Jaxx dominating Murray State in their family weekend home game.
Union Jaxx went all out on their first home game by beating Murray State 17-2 this past Saturday.
Even though there are 12 new members on the team, all of them played well and contributed to takedown of Murray State.
Daniel Yurov, captain of the team and sophomore marketing major, thinks their offense was the key to winning.
“Our offense flowed really well and we were able to take advantage of the work we have put into offensive handler movement and throwing the wind,” Yurov said.
The volleyball team went 1-1 one the weekend, handling a rebuilding West Georgia team and dropping three close sets to Montevallo in a road trip that saw three Lady Bulldogs pick up career-highs in kills.
Katie O’Malley played a prominent role in the Lady Bulldogs’ victory. The sophomore exercise science major put up a career-high 20 kills while committing just three errors. Christa Karns, junior social work major, also joined the spike party on Friday with a career best 18 kills of her own. Union dominated three sets, only dropping one with a final score of 25-22.
Abbie Rahn, sophomore education major, was the third Bulldog to break a career mark for kills, putting up 15 in just three sets against a stifling Lady Falcon defense.
“I couldn’t have done it without Bre [Carlton],” Rahn said. “She helped all of us hitters out a lot. Also, our back row players help us know which spots are open and they did a great job telling me where to hit.”
Libero Taylor Chiaro, sophomore education major, extended her streak of 19+ dig matches to 5 this, and hasn’t failed to reach the mark since Union’s home opener on September 23.
Union will host the Gulf South Conference’s top team on Friday night when West Florida tries to avenge last season’s upset loss in Fred DeLay Gymnasium.
The women’s soccer team took two losses this week to Delta State (2-3) and Mississippi College (1-6), making their overall record 2-6.
In the game against Delta State, Victoria Lucido, freshman, scored on an assist of Olivia Schmitke, senior psychology major. Shelby High, senior Spanish and business double major, scored on a penalty kick. Schmitke also helped the team with a goal against Mississippi College.
Hannah Hewitt, junior nursing major, seemed optimistic about the team’s ability to pull it together for future wins.
“We just need to calm down and play our game which is playing to feet and keeping possession and finish our chances when we get them,” Hewitt said. “The work ethic and skill is there we just have to sharpen and play confidently.”
When asked about what the team should do to improve, Hewitt seemed to focus more on building themselves as a team and instilling confidence.
“We will work even harder this week at practice and push each other to refocus and move forward so we can make up for these losses, Hewitt said. “We’ll use the sting of these losses to rebound and come back even stronger.”
The Lady Bulldogs play two home games this coming week against University of Montevallo on October 5 and Auburn University Montgomery on October 8.
The Bulldogs put an 0-6 start in the rearview mirror with this historic weekend. For the first time in school history, the Bulldogs went on the road and beat two Gulf South Conference opponents, and they did it without giving up a single goal.
Union’s 1-0 victory over Delta State didn’t come as a surprise to many, as the Statesmen were one of two teams besides Union without a win in conference play. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs’ defense looked dominant, only allowing one shot to reach goalkeeper Casper Nyberg, sophomore sports management major.
The 3-0 win over Mississippi College showed the GSC that Union is a contender, though. Going into the contest, the Choctaws were 8-0-1 and 5-0 in conference play. The difference in this game for Union was converting opportunities at the net. MC’s defense was solid for the most part, but the Bulldogs converted three of their four shots on goal and did enough in the defending third to give Nyberg a chance for the shutout.
“Everyone played their part and worked very hard when on the field,” Cole Asfour, sports management major and reigning Gulf South Freshman of the Year, said. “We went in with the same mindset we have had since we started conference because we had been playing well, but we got caught by a few unlucky results in the beginning.”
The Bulldogs will try to carry over their momentum when they host GSC opponents Montevallo and AUM this weekend.