Lexington, Ky. – Erasing a two-set deficit, the Transylvania volleyball team rallied back to force a fifth and deciding set before falling 15-13 in the deciding set against the Hanover College Panthers in a Wednesday night thriller at the Beck Center.
In their second match of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference season, the Pioneers witnessed a 24-22 first set lead go by the wayside as Hanover pulled out a clutch 27-25 victory to start off the night. The Panthers appeared defensively primed, limiting the Pioneers to a .085 hitting percentage in set two as they notched a comfortable 25-19 win.
The Panthers surged ahead 17-13 and were pacing towards a simple evening when sophomore outside hitter Sarah Shivley continued holding serve and the Pioneers tied up the action at 17-17. The rest of the set went back and forth as both sides wrestled to a 26-26 deadlock.
A kill came from freshman middle blocker Ellie Stigger to put Transy in position for set point, and the Pios forced a defensive error to clinch the set, 28-26 and reignite the evening.
The fourth set was a consummate battle before the Pioneers embarked upon a 10-1 scoring rally to claim a 20-10 advantage. Transylvania eventually seized the fourth set, 25-18 to recapture momentum and tie up the match.
The Pioneers assumed an 11-7 lead in the fifth set and looked to take control. But Hanover responded with five of the next six points to tie up set five at 12-12. Hanover came up with hotly-contested points down the stretch, including a much-debated final point of the game, which was awarded to the Panthers after a litany of deliberation for the 15-13 final.
Multiple Pioneers were noble in defeat, including sophomore right side hitter Jordan Horne, who provided a match-high 17 kills, four blocks, and two digs. Talkers keyed a comeback effort midway through the match along with 49 assists, 26 digs, five kills, and two blocks.
Senior libero Marissa Coutinho also keyed a defensive resurgence in the game with her match-best 35 digs, six assists, and three kills.
Transylvania moved to 10-7 overall, and 0-2 in HCAC play following Wednesday's decision.
The Pioneers embark upon the road for their next three matches, beginning with a Saturday meeting against the Anderson University Ravens, set for 2:00 p.m. in Anderson, Indiana.
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