Hanover, Ind. – The Transylvania volleyball team's 2017 season came to an end on Saturday afternoon the same way as it did through the entirety of its season: fighting and battling to the very last point.
That final point was secured by Transylvania's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament semifinal opponent, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers, who held off the Pioneers 27-25 in the fourth set to seal up a four-set victory.
Taking a 25-23, 19-25, 25-14, 27-25 win against the Pioneers, the Engineers advanced to Sunday afternoon's conference tournament championship match while the Transylvania volleyball campaign came to an end with an overall record of 20-10 and 8-3 versus HCAC opponents.
The final match of the season for the Pioneers was reflective of its persistent and youthful nature displayed from opening weekend through Saturday afternoon. The first set was a tight waltz from beginning to end, with neither team ever leading by more than three points. The Pioneers held a 23-22 first set lead following a kill from sophomore outside hitter Taryn Glass, but the Engineers closed out the set with the final three points to win by two.
Transylvania took instant control in the second set, building a 12-6 advantage off a kill from junior middle blocker Darby Bourdon. The Pioneers pulled away at 21-12 after freshman middle blocker Ellie Stigger delivered a kill before finishing off the set with the 25-19 win.
The Engineers swung back in the third set, closing on a 7-1 run to clinch a 25-14 win.
Undeterred by Rose-Hulman's quick win, the Pioneers tussled closely with Rose-Hulman in set four, erasing a slight 10-7 Rose lead to tie up the set at 13-13. The Pioneers went down the stretch with the Engineers as Stigger delivered another timely kill to tie up the set at 25-25. But reminiscent of the first set, Rose-Hulman came away with the final two points to win the set and the match.
Sophomore setter Hannah Talkers led the Pioneers with 42 assists, 14 digs, and three kills to cap off an outstanding second campaign with Transylvania. Glass also finished the season strong with a team-high 15 kills against four errors, to go with six digs.
In the final match of her collegiate career, senior libero Marissa Coutinho racked up a match-high 27 digs and dished three assists.
Transylvania volleyball signs off its 2017 ledger with the most program wins in four seasons and its best conference record in four seasons.
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