Mikayla Wickham posted 10 kills for the Phoenix (11-11, 2-6 Mid-South) and freshman Kaleigh Lester fell just shy of her second double-figure game with nine kills. Rachel Clement recorded her third double-double of the season with 18 assists and 12 digs and Sara Glassman added 18 assists on the night as well.
Both teams went point-for-point in the opening stanza and neither team fell within more than two points until Cumberland scored eight unanswered points to take a 17-8 lead. A kill by Mackenzie Koch ended the streak and the Patriots tacked on two more points to pull within eight, 20-12. A block by Isidora Markovic and Masa Nalovic and a kill by Kaleigh Lester gave the squad two more tallies. The Phoenix held the University of the Cumberlands to just 18 total points in the frame before closing out the set off an error on the Patriots, 25-18.
UC allowed Cumberland to score 15 total points in the second set, starting off with an early 7-3 run. The Patriots added four more points before a kill by Markovic and Lester pulled the Phoenix within three, 11-8. The University of the Cumberlands continued to build onto their advantage taking an 18-13 lead and seven straight points for the Patriots helped them secure the second frame, 25-15.
Two errors, a kill by Lester and Markovic and a service ace by Keely Kaufman helped the Phoenix score five consecutive points to start the third stanza. UC made a quick comeback scoring six points in a row to take the advantage, 9-6. The squad responded with three more points to even the score at 10. The score was tied two more times before a 5-0 run for the Phoenix put them ahead by two, 17-15. A kill by Megan Jackson and an attack error on the Phoenix knotted the frame at 17. Each team fought point-for-point until the Patriots notched the final two off two errors on Cumberland for a 25-23 third-set win.
CU began to take the lead again in the fourth set but the Patriots fought back to tie the score at six and then went on to score four more points for a 10-7 lead. The Phoenix tried to make a comeback, pulling within five before the Patriots scored two more. An error, two service aces by Markovic and one kill by Worrell cut the Phoenix deficit to just three points, 17-14. A 8-3 run for the University of the Cumberlands helped them take the final frame, 25-17 for a four-set victory over the Phoenix.
Tara Routliffe collected 29 digs and Jessica Severs recorded 11 kills and seven digs. The team had five blocks on the night and hit .173 percent.
The Phoenix will continue their road swing, heading to Marietta, Ga., to take on Life University on Saturday at noon before returning home Oct. 20 to play host to Shawnee State at 5 p.m.