Danville, Ky. – The Transylvania volleyball team abdicated a four-set defeat to the Centre College Praying Colonels at Alumni Gymnasium on Thursday evening.
The Pioneers fell to 12-11 overall as they broke away from Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play for a nonconference match with their central Kentucky neighbor in the Colonels. Dueling with their regional rivals out of the Southern Athletic Association, the Pioneers dropped a slim first-set defeat that gave the Colonels the upper hand for the rest of the match.
Coming out strong to begin the first set, the Pioneers built a 15-9 lead off early kills from freshman Taryn Glass. An unconventional kill from libero Marissa Coutinho struck a 16-10 lead for the Pioneers who continued their gradual surge forward.
But Centre answered back to score 11 of the next 14 points to claim a 21-19 advantage. The Pioneers came back to take a 22-21 lead, but Centre made plays down the stretch to slip by the Pioneers, 25-23 in the first set.
In the second set, the roles were reversed as Transylvania snuck away from the Colonels with a 25-21 victory. The Pios erased a three-point Centre lead midway through the second set to take a 19-18 lead. Transylvania took advantage of a collection of Centre errors down the stretch to gather the win.
Centre claimed a six-point lead early in the third set that left the Pioneers having to battle back. Transylvania put together one of its strongest runs of the game as the Pioneers took a 15-14 lead. But Centre immediately closed the set on a 10-3 run for its largest margin of victory over the four-set affair.
Just like the meat of the first three sets, the fourth set was also hotly contested between Transylvania and Centre. The Colonels grabbed a 12-9 lead, but the Pioneers used two kills from Glass among other successes to take a 16-14 advantage.
But Centre pulled away late as it did in the third set, breaking an 18-18 tie to win seven of the final nine points of the match for a 25-20 victory.
The Pioneers won the kill category in two of the four sets, and matched Centre in kills in the fourth set, 8 to 8. But it was 24 combined errors in the final two sets that foiled Transylvania's chances for victory.
Glass and fellow freshman Jordan Horne each hit double figures in kills with 10 and 11, respectively, while freshman Hannah Talkers amassed a game-high 26 assists to go with 26 digs and four block assists. Coutinho led the Pioneers in digs with 28, as well as five assists.
The Pioneers return to Lexington to host nonconference opponents Webster and Kean in a tri-match format meeting on Saturday morning. Transylvania faces Webster at 10:00 a.m., with a Webster-Kean match to follow the conclusion of that contest, and a Transy-Kean matchup scheduled for approximately 2:00 p.m. at the Beck Center.
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