Transylvania volleyball wins eighth straight contest, collects fourth straight sweep

marissa coutinho with family on senior night
The lone senior for the 2017 Pioneer Volleyball Team, Marissa Coutinho and the Pioneers had much to celebrate on her senior night

Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania volleyball team capped off its 2017 run through Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with an impressive three-set sweep of the Mount St. Joseph University Lions, winning 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 Wednesday evening at the Beck Center.

Opening the evening with a Senior Night celebration of the roster's lone senior, libero Marissa Coutinho, the Pioneers finished the evening by continuing a season-high eight-match win streak.

The Pioneers completed their ninth and final match in their 2017 HCAC schedule with their seventh-consecutive conference win and their fourth-straight sweep of an HCAC opponent. The Pioneers have now won 13 consecutive sets following Wednesday's result.

Transylvania finished its conference run at 7-2, good for at least a share of second place in the conference standings, certifying its best finish in the HCAC since the 2013 season. Assured of either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed heading into next Wednesday's HCAC Conference Tournament, Transylvania awaits its official seeding and discovery of its first-round opponent after final conference matches are played this Saturday.

Carrying a string of 10 consecutive sets won into Wednesday's match, the Pioneers harnessed momentum from Saturday's three-set win against conference rival Defiance to dispose of the Lions in the first set, 25-16. The Pioneers held the Lions to a .053 hitting percentage in the first set to notch the surgical win.

In the second set, the Pioneers dueled closely with the Lions, finding themselves with a 19-18 lead late. Transylvania's youthful front line quickly put away the set, scoring the final six points for a 25-18 victory, led by an assortment of kills from sophomore right side hitter Jordan Horne, sophomore outside hitter Taryn Glass, and junior middle blocker Darby Bourdon.

In the third and final set, the Pioneers powered their way to a set-high 17 kills for a .275 hitting percentage, their highest percentage of the three sets played to complete the sweep with a 25-20 win.

Coutinho celebrated her shining night with a match-high 16 digs, seven assists, and two aces. Freshman middle blocker Ellie Stigger posted a match-best 15 kills and provided three blocks. Sophomore setter Hannah Talkers added 35 of Transylvania's 43 assists.

With the HCAC regular season now in its rear-view mirror, Transylvania holds an overall record of 18-7.

The Pioneers will close out their regular season schedule with a trip westward to St. Louis, Missouri to the campus of Washington University in St. Louis for a three-match saga.

Transylvania faces No. 12 Washington University on Friday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time before facing Nebraska Wesleyan University at Washington U. at 7:30 p.m. The Pioneers complete their weekend in the Gateway City with a 12:30 p.m. Eastern time matchup against Depauw University at Washington U. to wrap up their regular season schedule.

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