LEXINGTON, Ky.—A dominating performance in the opening frame set the tone for the Transylvania University women's volleyball team, as they handled the visiting Wilmington College Quakers 3-0.
The Pioneers opened the match with a 25-10 victory in set one by way of 15 kills on 31 attacks and just five errors for an attack percentage of .323. After an ace from defensive specialist Marrisa Coutinho gave Transylvania a 1-0 lead, the Quakers rallied for two straight points to take a one point advantage. It was the last lead Wilmington would have in the set.
Transy rattled off 11 straight points using quality attack after quality attack to hammer the Wilmington defense. Defensive specialist Kaitlin Wheeler showed a dominating service game during the run, striking several aces and keeping the Quaker defense on their heels. The Pioneers continued their crushing performance for the remainder of the set, as Wilmington failed to get within 11 points in the opening set.
The second set saw much of the same as the Pioneers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. Wheeler's strong service game forced several errors from the Quakers and as outside hitter Erin Romito crushed a ball down the line for a kill to cap the run.
Wilmington pushed back briefly, drawing the score to 8-5 but Transylvania responded by outscoring the Quakers 17-10 over the remainder of the set by way of a dominant service game and well executed attacks and capitalizing on errors from the Quakers.
Set number three saw the Pioneers come out sluggish as they fell behind and struggled to capture the lead in the frame but Transylvania stormed back to take the lead at 7-6 after an error from Wilmington. Middle blocker Madison Lovern picked up a kill to push Transy in front 9-6 and they never looked back, extending their lead to 20-13 and sealing the win on a kill from outside hitter Shelby Catlett.
Offensively, Transy was led by outside hitter Jennifer buckman who recorded 11 kills to just one error on 20 attempts. Middle blocker Katelyn maller added eight kills while Romito and Lovern each tallied six. Coutinho and defensive specialist Audrey Brown played big roles in the back for Transylvania with Coutinho picking up 13 digs and Brown contributing 12, keeping the ball off the floor and allowing the Pioneers to get into their attack.
Head coach Kyle Walton described the performances as efficient, noting that several new players made key contributions tonight.
"I thought Jennifer Buckman kept us steady throughout the entire match, she is starting to feel the college game a bit better. Shelby Catlett had a chance to get in, hit .625 with five kills and it was a bit of a coming out party...it was great to finally see her on the floor and contributing," said Walton. "Holly Dorfman did a good job getting people involved with the different lineups and she did a really good job getting the ball to the right spots."
The win continues an impressive run by the Pioneers to start the season, pushing their record to 9-1, the best record through 10 games in program history. Transy returns to action Friday, Sept. 25 with matches agains Ohio Northern and Baldwin Wallace.