LEXINGTON, Ky. --- In a battle of HCAC conference standing leaders, the Pioneers hosted Hanover in volleyball action at the Clive M. Beck Center. Both teams had already locked up post-season play in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament to be held during the first week in November.
The Pioneers came out ready to play in the first set on aggressive play from outside hitters Maddie Lovern and Erin Romito. Both hitters combined for eight of the ten kills in the first set. Hanover would make a small run over the course of the set to tie it at 19-19, but Transylvania would finish it up strong to take the first set, 25-19. The Panthers would have their own duel attackers in Courtney Crawford and Kristen Goben to take the second set 25-21 despite and balanced defensive effort from Audrey Brown and Marissa Coutinho.
The third and fourth sets were one of runs that would see both teams showing why they are in the top of the HCAC. Transylvania started off the set on a 5-1 run, only to see the Panthers roar back and take the lead over the course of the set as they would end the third on a 7-0 run to win it, 25-23. The fourth set would prove to be another hotly contested set as both team would increase their offensive attacks. Pioneers had multiple digs by Audrey Brown, Sarah Jonas to keep the action alive and keep offensive attack going. Despite big offensive pushes by Katelyn Maller and Darby Bourdon, Hanover pulled out the fourth set winning 29-27 to close out the conference undefeated. Sarah Jonas would pace the offense for the game with 42 assists.
Head Coach Kyle Walton said after the game, "I thought we battled, I thought we played hard and a lot of kids stepped up. I thought Maddie Lovern played well, I thought Katelyn Maller really played well and Audrey Brown had 27 digs, it was good." He went on to add, "We felt we had each set. It's hard to lose 3-1 and feel like you had every single one of them. I think we are in a good spot heading into next week."
The Pioneers (16-8, 5-3 HCAC) will celebrate Senior Day on Saturday, October 31st as they honor their three seniors before taking on Rose-Hulman in final home game of the year. Match time is set for 2:00 p.m.