The Phoenix (2-2) fell the Indiana Wesleyan (2-1) in the opening game of the day in three, losing the first two sets 25-16 and 25-15 and the third by just three points, 25-22.
CU led Indiana University Southeast (0-4) early in the frame, 8-5 before the Grenadiers made a comeback scoring seven points and allowing the Phoenix to only tally two during the run to knot the score at 12. IUS tacked on three more points for the 15-12 advantage.
The teams rallied back and forth for the next few points but the squad pulled ahead 21-17 and IUS scored three points in a row to cut the deficit to one. A kill by Monica Loftus evened the score at 23 but back-to-back points from Mikayla Wickham and Isidora Markovic closed out the set, 26-24.
An 11-6 run in the second stanza was followed by four points for IUS but Cumberland quickly responded with six points in a row, three kills from Nalovic and two errors on the Grenadiers. An attack error on the Phoenix broke the streak, but three final points were all CU needed to claim the second set, 25-14.
The Phoenix gained a 9-4 lead and extended the advantage to 17-13 but IUS held off Cumberland to just three more points before scoring four straight to pull within two, 22-20. CU allowed the Grenadiers to tally one more and an error and a kill by Markovic secured the final frame, 25-23.
Taylor Kasper recorded 20 digs for the Phoenix and Sara Glassman posted 17 digs. Nalovic led the team with eight kills and three blocks.
Cumberland came back to tie the first game in the final set as each team went point-for-point for the first eight of the frame. The Wildcats went on to score four points but a kill by Masa Nalovic sparked a five point run for the Phoenix to stay ahead, 14-11.
Three errors on IWU and a huge kill from Amanda Worrell kept the Phoenix in the lead by three, before an error on the Phoenix and a kill from Lauren Gross and Kelly Miller to knot the game at 20. A point from Wickham and Abby Akins gave Cumberland the advantage before the Wildcats completed their comeback, 25-22 sweeping the first game of the day.
CU took a 3-1 lead to start the opening set, but the Wildcats responded with seven consecutive points and stayed in the lead for the rest of the frame. A kill by Kasper and a service ace from Jena Goodman including an error on the Wildcats help Cumberland pull within three, 10-7. Both teams rallied for the next few points before another four straight points for IWU.
Two errors played in the Phoenix favor to break the streak, but four points in a row for Indiana Wesleyan secured the first set, 25-16.
Indiana Wesleyan took their largest lead of the game by 10 in the second frame, 22-12 and only allowed the Phoenix to score three more points before closing out the set, 25-15.
Kasper recorded 19 digs for the squad and Sara Glassman tallied 14 assists. Nalovic and Worrell posted eight kills apiece.
Abigail Rutt tallied 19 digs and Katie Cole collected 21 assists for the Wildcats. Emily Workman and Tay Thomas recorded double-figure kills for IWU.
The Phoenix will return to play this coming Friday in the Missouri Valley College Invitational in Marshall, Mo., against Park University at 1 p.m. and the University of St. Mary at 5.