CONWAY, Ark. (ucasports.com) - Central Arkansas improved to 2-2 in the ASUN on Sunday afternoon following a win over Bellarmine in three sets. UCA relied on some familiar faces to get a much-needed win to get even in conference play. The win also marks three-straight wins for the Sugar Bears, who improved to 10-7 with Sunday's win.
The Sugar Bears got in control fairly early in the first set. They employed a 4-0 run to take the lead 14-10 and then led at the media timeout 15-12. Shortly after, a Lexie Gregory ace made it 17-12 and forced Bellarmine to take a timeout. Mackenzie Vernon found her clutch gene late in the set, tallying three kills down the stretch. All doubt was removed from the first set when Bellarmine sent a serve straight into the net, giving UCA a 25-21 first set victory.
Central Arkansas then started the second set with a 5-0 lead, forcing Bellarmine to take an early time out. Shortly after, Caylan Koons snuck one over the net for a kill, which always gets the UCA bench fired up. Freshman Trinity Hamilton capitalized on getting some playing time, following up the Koons kill with an ace, which really got the UCA bench ecstatic. While not quite as raucous as the Friday night crowd, the Sunday crowd at the Prince center fed into the Sugar Bears' performance. With UCA cruising late in the second set, Jamiryana Hall was on a mission to close it out. She finished off the Knights with a kill that sent the crowd into a frenzy, as UCA won 25-13.
It took until the third set was tied at 12 for the Sugar Bears to really take over. Alexis Stumbough kept the pressure on the Knights by adding three kills to allow UCA to grab a big lead. With a 20-17 lead late in the set, the Sugar Bears went for the kill shot. UCA scored five unanswered to win the set, highlighted by two Caylan Koons aces, including one to end the game.
Alexis Stumbough continues to surge as of late, totaling 16 kills, which led the team. Hall and Vernon were also on a roll, and Hall's energy is a large part of UCA's three-game winning streak. Hall and Vernon both finished with 11 kills. While Caylan Koons didn't put up the career-best 55 assist performance like on Friday, she still had a great game, totaling 38 assists which brings her total for the year to 446.
Central Arkansas continues ASUN play, as they travel to Jacksonville, Florida to take on North Florida this Friday, October 8th at 4 p.m. You can follow along with every game this season on Twitter at @ucavball
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The ASUN, a Division I conference member of the NCAA, boasts a membership of institutions that share visionary leadership, bold ambition and creative innovation. As a nimble adaptive conference, unafraid to blaze a national pathway for better service to our student-athletes, teams, and institutions, the ASUN has a proud history of firsts, national academic and athletic achievements and a conference culture that walks the walk with its four ASUN Beams. Students First! Rise. Connect. Impact. #ASUNBuilt by Austin Peay (Clarksville, Tenn.), Bellarmine (Louisville, Ky.), Central Arkansas (Conway, Ark.), Eastern Kentucky (Richmond, Ky.), FGCU (Fort Myers, Fla.), Jacksonville (Fla.), Jacksonville State (Jacksonville, Ala.), Kennesaw State (Ga.), Liberty (Lynchburg, Va.), Lipscomb (Nashville, Tenn.), North Alabama (Florence, Ala.), North Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.), Queens (Charlotte, N.C.) and Stetson (DeLand, Fla.).