Cincinnati, Ohio – The No. 24 Transylvania volleyball team clinched its second consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a three-set sweep of the Mount St. Joseph University Lions on Wednesday evening at the Harrington Center.
Behind another offensive windstorm from Jordan Horne and her match-high 18 kills, Transylvania captured a 25-17, 26-24, 25-17 win over the Lions.
With one match remaining in HCAC play after Wednesday's win, the Pioneers improved to 8-0 in the HCAC to clinch the outright conference championship for the second straight year; Transylvania earned the HCAC title last season with a conference record of 8-1.
The Pioneers moved to 24-4 overall this season as they continued to improve upon their best record in program history. An upset-minded Mount St. Joseph fell to 3-5 in the HCAC and 14-11 overall.
The two teams jousted early in the night as the Pioneers nursed a 9-8 lead in the opening set. Behind a barrage from Horne and Taryn Glass, the Pioneers opened up a 17-11 advantage. Though the Lions later sliced their deficit down to four, the Pioneers closed the set on a 4-0 scoring run on a kill by Horne and an ace from Sylvie Miller.
The second set was tightly contested throughout as neither team was able to create a lead of more than three points until a pair of kills from Glass raised Transylvania's advantage to 20-17. Momentum then suddenly shifted when the Lions reeled off two straight kills and an ace to tie up the action at 20-all.
Adeline Tonn and Horne each answered back with kills to put the Pioneers within clinching range at 22-20, but the Lions scored three straight points once more for a pivotal 23-22 lead. A Mount St. Joseph error then led to a 23-23 tie, but a service error by the Pioneers gave the Lions service for set point.
The Pioneers made the stand of the evening, digging in their heels for three unanswered points as Horne and Miller duplicated their closing style from the first set with a kill and ace, respectively to seize a 26-24 win.
Transylvania rode the momentum of a hard-fought second-set victory to cruise to the sweep in the third set as the Pioneers matched the set-one score with another 25-17 win in the final set. Transylvania broke open an 11-11 tie with a stretch of five kills by Horne, resulting in a 20-16 upper hand by the time her personal run had ended. Joie Porter added two late kills to complete the victory.
Talkers finished the night with a match-high 37 assists and produced 10 digs with three kills. Miller and Hadley Trenaman each posted 11 digs.
Transylvania now possesses the number one seed in next weekend's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament and will host the semifinals on Saturday, November 8 and the championship match on Sunday, November 9. The Pioneers will face the winner of the No. 5 seed and No. 4 seed in an HCAC Quarterfinal match to precede the semifinals next week.
The Pioneers will wrap up their regular season on Saturday, November 2 at home against the Manchester University Spartans. Seven senior members of the Transylvania volleyball team will be honored in a pregame Senior Day ceremony before the 2:00 p.m. opening serve against the Spartans at the Beck Center in Lexington.
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