ATLANTA – The Transylvania volleyball team continued an ambitious opening-season schedule with a 9-25, 13-25, 20-25 setback to the No. 5 Emory University Eagles in the opening match of a four-match series at Emory's Woodruff P.E. Center on Thursday night.
The Pioneers fell to 0-4 in their early season, all of which have included matches versus teams currently ranked in the AVCA Top 25.
Thursday's match for the Pios marked the first of a string of four matches in three days at the Emory National Tournament, initializing with Transy's match against the host team and highest-ranked team in the proceedings.
The Eagles looked comfortable off the opening serve; after building a 15-8 lead, the home team reeled off nine straight points before winning 25-9.
The Pioneers swung back in the second set, using a kill from junior right side hitter Jordan Horne to cut Emory's lead to 10-9. But the Eagles went on another powerful run, scoring five straight points to build a 15-9 cushion they would grow on the way to a 23-15 second set victory.
Emory used an array of kills to build an early lead in the third set as the Eagles maintained the upper hand. A kill from Horne cut Emory's advantage back down to 20-16 late in the third set but the Eagles ran out again, inching closer to victory by taking a 24-19 lead. The Pioneers used another kill from Horne and forced an error by Emory to close the gap to 20-24, but Emory's Morgan McKnight came up with the match-ending block to seal a 25-20 third-set win.
Junior setter Hannah Talkers recorded a team-high 18 assists and 13 digs, while Horne paced the Pioneers with nine kills.
Transylvania limited Emory to a .150 attacking percentage in the second set but the Pioneers themselves were hindered by negative hitting percentages in two of three sets as the Eagles' return game was strong.
Transylvania will look for its first victory of the season tomorrow as it takes on the Oglethorpe University Stormy Petrels at 2:00 p.m. at P.E. Woodruff followed by a 7:00 p.m. match against Whitworth University of the Northwest Conference.
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