St. Louis – The Transylvania volleyball team took on two Midwest challengers on Friday evening as it inched closer to wrapping up the regular season with a trio of nonconference matches on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.
The Pioneers fell in three sets to the No. 12 Washington University in St. Louis Bears in a hotly-contested match, then won their nightcap against the Nebraska Wesleyan University Prairie Wolves in a three-set victory.
Playing in Wash U.'s Baden Invitational tournament, the Pioneers journeyed west for the weekend for a final regular-season tune-up before next week's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
Transylvania tested its growth against a top-15 ranked team in the Bears, challenging the tournament hosts after yielding a 25-20 loss in the first set.
The Pioneers answered back in the second set, pulling ahead 9-4 before the Bears began gradually digging away at the early deficit. Wash U. battled back to tie the set at 19-19, and took a 22-21 lead. The Bears reached set point with a 24-21 advantage, but the Pioneers rendered successive kills from sophomore right side hitter Jordan Horne and junior outside hitter Jennifer Buckman to tie the match at 24-all.
With the second set tied at 25-25, the Bears came up with a kill from Julianne Malek, and an error from sophomore setter Hannah Talkers brought the second set to a close.
The third set contained plenty of competitive juice from both sides as the Pioneers erased an 11-7 deficit to tie up the set at 12-12. The set remained close and the Pioneers collected a 21-20 lead after another kill was levied from sophomore outside hitter Taryn Glass. But Wash U. scored five of the final six points in the set to win 25-22 and take the match in three games.
The Pioneers turned around to sweep their next opponent, Nebraska Wesleyan at Wash U.'s Varsity Gym. The Pioneers swept the Prairie Wolves 25-22, 25-19, and 25-13 behind a match-best 18 kills in the third and final set.
The Pioneers will complete their trip to St. Louis on Saturday with a match against Depauw University. The first serve is set for 12:30 pm. Eastern Time.
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