Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania volleyball team played a nearly errorless first two sets on the way to a three-set sweep of the conference rival Earlham College Quakers on Wednesday night at the Beck Center.
The Pioneers delivered a 25-16, 25-12, 25-21 win against the Quakers to move to 3-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and 9-9 overall. Earlham fell to 14-10 overall and 2-2 in the HCAC.
Transylvania vaulted into third place of the HCAC standings with the victory, a half game back of second-place Rose-Hulman and one game behind Bluffton University, whom the Pioneers will face this upcoming weekend.
A fast start boosted the Pioneers to victory as they made quick work of the Quakers, wrapping up the contest in one hour and 15 minutes. Junior right side hitter Jordan Horne elevated the Pioneers with three consecutive aces as Transylvania surged to an 8-0 lead to start the evening. Transylvania amassed 13 kills to only one error in the first set as the Pioneers converted a .444 hitting percentage.
Transylvania's red-hot start continued into the second set as the home team delivered 16 kills against just one error. After falling behind 3-0, the Pioneers quickly answered, eventually going on a 14-1 scoring run to put the set quickly out of reach for Earlham. The Pioneers enjoyed a .517 hitting percentage in the second set as they took a commanding two sets to none lead against Earlham.
The Quakers battled back in the third set, forging an 11-9 advantage against the Pioneers. But Transylvania went on another long rally with Horne holding serve for five straight points followed by junior defensive specialist Hadley Trenaman holding serve for another five consecutive points as the Pioneers went ahead 21-12.
Earlham reeled off six straight points facing match point, but Horne came up with a potent block to put away the match for Transylvania's third straight conference win.
Three different Pioneers registered double-digit kills with sophomore middle blocker Ellie Stigger pacing all players with 12 kills and adding four blocks. Sophomore Hannah Talkers had a steady line of a match-high 33 assists, seven kills, eight digs, two block assists, and a kill percentage of .636. Both players combined for no errors. Junior libero Abby Wills led all players with 16 digs.
Transylvania looks ahead to a two-match weekend in conference play, beginning with a Saturday afternoon match against the Defiance College Yellow Jackets at 1:00 p.m. followed by a Sunday match at Bluffton University at 3:00 p.m.
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