Danville, Ky. – The Transylvania volleyball team exacted a win from its archrival on the road on Wednesday night, winning a dramatic five-set match over the Centre College Colonels at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Pioneers picked up their sixth win of the season but not without extra toil and angst as the visitors saw a two-set lead evaporate at Tom Bryant Court before rebounding in the fifth set to defeat the Colonels.
After wrapping up 25-20 and 26-24 wins in the first two sets, the Pioneers dropped the third set 25-21 and the fourth set 25-22 before erasing an 8-6 deficit in the fifth set to rally for the victory.
The Pioneers came out firing to begin the evening, taking an 8-1 lead against Centre after two successive kills from junior right side hitter Jordan Horne. Centre shaved the Pios' lead down to four points at 17-13 but Horne responded with another kill to keep the Pioneers chugging along. Horne came through with two more late kills to help the Pioneers put away the set.
The drama unfolded in the second set as the Pioneer erased a 7-11 deficit to tie up the set at 14-14 following a Centre error. The Pioneers took over momentum and a 20-17 lead as junior outside hitter Taryn Glass registered a kill. The Colonels then went on a quick rally to tie up the set at 20-20 as the rivals dueled into the final moments of the set. With the set tied at 24-all, senior outside hitter Jennifer Buckman came up with a kill and Centre could not get the ball over the net on the final point of the set as the Pioneers delivered the 26-24 win.
Transylvania and Centre went down to the wire again in the third set, but with the action knotted at 20-20, Centre scored five of the final six points in the third to find new life.
The fourth set featured another tightly-contested series as the Pioneers held a 20-17 lead late. Similar to the second set, Centre went on another three-point rally to tie up the set at 20-20 before rallying to win 25-22, forcing the decisive fifth set.
With the Pioneers playing in their second consecutive five-setter, the Pioneers came up with clutch performances down the stretch. Glass and Horne each provided kills to erase the 8-6 deficit to tie the set at 10-all. The Pioneers went ahead at 11-10 on a service error by Centre before a series of veteran plays decided the match. Buckman delivered two late kills while junior setter Hannah Talkers came up with two of her own as the Pioneers closed the door on Centre with the 15-11 win.
Talkers finished the night with a season-high 45 assists, 15 digs, seven kills, and two blocks. Horne enjoyed a career-high 24 kills while Glass had a season-high 11 kills. Junior defensive specialist Sarah Shivley matched her Saturday career-high with 22 digs; Five different Pioneers had double-digit digs as the Pioneers registered a season-high 93 team digs. Buckman finished the night with 16 kills, six assists, 13 digs, and three aces.
With Wednesday's match serving as the final contest for the Pioneers before the advent of Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, Transylvania now looks ahead to its next contest on Saturday, September 29 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. First serve between the Pioneers and Fightin' Engineers is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. from Hulbert Arena.
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