Mount Berry, Ga. – The Transylvania volleyball team began its weekend trip down to the Peach State with a clean sweep of both opponents it faced in a Friday night doubleheader on the campus of Berry College.
In the first game of the day, the Pioneers coasted past the Covenant College Scots 25-9, 25-7, 25-17 at the Cage Center in the Berry Invitational. Transylvania built upon its dominant win with another, defeating the Rhodes College Lynx 25-13, 25-16, 25-6 to move to 4-2 overall on the season.
In the first match of the evening, the Pioneers pounced upon Covenant with an 11-3 start, capped off by back-to-back kills from Ellie Stigger and a power shot from Taryn Glass to force the Scots into a timeout. Transylvania maintained its tempo, eventually stretching the lead to 23-7 following a pair of kills by Jordan Horne. Another kill from Horne combined with a Covenant error completed the first set.
Transylvania wasted even less time in the second set, reeling off six straight points to begin the set behind the effective service of Sylvie Miller. Covenant stopped the surge momentarily at 6-1, but the Pioneers went right back into action, scoring the next eight straight points en route to the 25-7 rout.
Covenant found a sliver of daylight to open the third as the Scots built an 8-6 lead, but the Pioneers went back to Horne, who delivered the go-ahead kills to set up Transy with a 14-10 advantage. Transylvania wrapped up the final set with a procedural 25-17 win.
The Pioneers held Covenant to either .000 or negative attacking percentages in all three sets. Meanwhile, Transylvania registered at least 15 kills in each of the three sets, highlighted by a .500 attacking percentage in the first set.
Stigger led the way with 15 kills while Horne levied 11. Hannah Talkers had an all-around match with 39 assists, 10 digs, one ace, and one kill. Miller paced the Pioneers with 14 digs.
Transylvania continued its dominant efforts in the nightcap by sandwiching Rhodes with sweltering opening and final sets. The Pioneers jumped to another early lead as Talkers' kill gave the Pioneers an 11-4 advantage. Transy grew its lead to 15-5 as Horne, Glass, and Adeline Tonn each delivered a kill along the way. Rhodes cut Transylvania's lead to 18-13 but the Pioneers scored the last seven points of the set thanks to back-to-back aces by Kori Rudolph to finish off the set-one victory.
Rhodes again tried to cling tight to Transylvania in set number two, inching close to the Pioneers at 14-11. Transylvania then went on another big run, scoring four straight points on consecutive kills by Stigger. The Pioneers scored five of the final six points of the set to build another two-set lead.
Transylvania mirrored its second-set start against its first opponent of the night by scoring the first seven points of the third set against Rhodes. Emmie Bender swatted a kill for the 7-0 buffer, and while Rhodes answered back with two straight points, the Pioneers ventured towards a quick evening with an immediate 6-0 run on the way to leads of 14-2, 17-3, 19-4, and 22-5. Horne, Tonn, and Bender finished off the night with a run of three straight kills to finish the 25-6 masterpiece.
Stigger and Bender each tallied 12 kills apiece to lead the Pioneers in the second match while Talkers topped her opening-match output with 40 assists to go with three digs and two kills. Rudolph finished the match with a season-high four aces. Miller was again the digs leader with 14.
The Pioneers are back in action tomorrow as they wrap up their weekend trip to Georgia with a pair of matches. Transylvania faces the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor at 11:00 a.m. followed by a 3:00 p.m. rematch with Rhodes.
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