Bluffton, Ohio – Hannah Talkers reached a pair of individual milestones in guiding the No. 21 Transylvania volleyball team to a four-set win over the Bluffton University Beavers on Saturday evening at the Sommer Center.
In the second set of the 25-21, 25-12, 25-27, 25-13 victory, Talkers notched her third block of the match, becoming the seventh player in Transylvania volleyball program history to reach 200 blocks for her career, following in the footsteps of teammates Ellie Stigger and Jordan Horne, who each accomplished the feat earlier in the 2019 season.
In the fourth and final set of play, Talkers recorded her 39th assist of the evening, setting the new program record for assists and moving past Rebecca Luking for first all-time in Pioneer assists with 3,493.
The senior completed the match with 46 assists to become the first Pioneer to reach the 3,500 career assist mark.
Talkers added 14 digs and two kills to lead the Pioneers to a 3-0 start in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and an overall record of 18-4 on a historic night for the senior. Bluffton dropped to 4-18 and 0-3 in HCAC play.
In the third conference match of the season for Transylvania, Bluffton was able to hand the Pioneers their first set loss, but like the Pioneers' first two conference opponents of the year, ultimately came up short.
With upset hopes in mind, Bluffton ran out to a 15-10 lead in the opening set before the Pioneers whittled away at their deficit. Karrington Jackson, Jordan Horne, and Taryn Glass each registered successive kills to tie up the set at 18-18 before the Pioneers scored the final three points of the set for a 25-21 victory.
The Pioneers shifted into cruise control in the second set, building leads of 6-1, 10-2, and 15-4 on the way to a 25-12 win.
Transylvania started strong once again in the third set, using a kill by Jackson to grab a 10-6 advantage. Horne added pressure with a kill for a 12-7 Transy lead before Bluffton responded with a furious 10-0 scoring run change the complexion of the set for a 17-12 turnaround. The hometown Beavers worked their way to a 20-16 advantage before the Pioneers answered with four straight points to tie up the set at 20-all.
The Pioneers battled back for match point with a lead of 24-23 and 25-24, but Bluffton held firm each time. After withstanding a 25-24 deficit, the Beavers scored three straight points to win the third set.
Transylvania would not be denied, beginning the fourth set with a 13-4 lead off consecutive kills by Adeline Tonn. Bluffton would get no closer than six points the rest of the way as the Pioneers finished the night by scoring six of the final seven points.
Ellie Stigger turned in another efficient performance of 17 kills to two errors, also adding three aces and three digs in the win. Horne supplied 15 kills, two digs, one block, and one assist as the Pioneers captured their 13th win of the season away from Lexington.
Transylvania now returns back to the Bluegrass for a three-match homestand beginning Wednesday, October 16 versus Hanover College. Opening serve between Transylvania and Hanover is set for 7:00 p.m. from the Beck Center.
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