No. 23 Transylvania volleyball collects pair of wins in Defiance against HCAC and nonconference competition

Wills serving

Defiance, Ohio – The No. 23 Transylvania volleyball team continued to steamroll through the month of October by claiming a pair of four-set wins against two different kinds of opponents on Saturday afternoon at the Karl H. Weaner Center on the campus of Defiance College.

Squaring off with fellow Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent Defiance in the opening match on Saturday, the Pioneers staged a 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17 win over the Yellow Jackets for their seventh consecutive win to open up conference play. Transylvania toasted the conference win by defeating the Olivet College Comets, 25-17, 17-25, 25-18, 25-10 in the nightcap for a Saturday sweep.

Transylvania improved to 23-4 overall and 7-0 in HCAC play with two conference games remaining.   The Yellow Jackets saw their overall record fall to 15-10 and 3-4 in the HCAC while Olivet dropped to 13-10 overall.

The two wins boosted Transylvania's record in October to a perfect 9-0 with one game remaining next Wednesday.

Jordan Horne led the Pioneers to victory in the Saturday opener with 19 kills, her second-highest single-match output of the season to ignite Transylvania offensively. Sylvie Miller checked in on the defensive side of play with a career-high 26 digs to neutralize the Yellow Jackets' attack.

Horne led off the day for the Pioneers with an instant impact, dishing out four kills over Transylvania's first five points on the way to a 6-1 lead. The early burst guided the Pioneers to a 25-18 opening-set victory that was finished off by an ace from Miller and a block by Horne.

Defiance swung back in the second set for a slim win after breaking an 18-18 tie to open up a four-point lead late. The Pioneers rallied for a four-point run of their own to tie up the set at 23-all, but two final errors by the Pioneers handed the set to Defiance.

Transylvania bounced back in the third set to take a 25-21 victory on their best attacking percentage of the four sets contested. The Pioneers used a similar beginning as the first set to open up the fourth set with a 6-0 lead to shut the door on Defiance. Though the Yellow Jacket swung back to close Transylvania's lead at 7-6, the Pioneers unleashed another burst of momentum with a string of five unanswered points to put the match out of reach.

Hannah Talkers provided a match-high 44 assists and notched 13 digs and three kills to give the Pioneers an array of support. Abby Wills added 16 digs in the win while Taryn Glass posted 12 kills.

In the Saturday sequel, the Pioneers overcame a late hiccup in the first set against Olivet before taking hold of the final three sets. Olivet broke free from a 15-15 tie in the opening set to score 10 of the set's final 12 points for a 25-17 win.

After committing nine errors in the opening set, the Pioneers steadily improved upon their execution by decreasing their error totals in each ensuing set. Horne handed off the scoring baton to Transylvania's youth as freshmen Joie Porter and Karrington Jackson each delivered kills on the way to an 8-3 second-set lead.

Transylvania went on a 5-0 scoring run behind kills from Horne and Emmie Bender to tie up the match with a 25-17 second-set win.

After committing 16 errors in the first two sets, the Pioneers offered few mistakes for their opponent to take advantage of over the final two sets with just five combined errors, including only one in a dominant final set that the Pioneers captured, 25-10.

Horne again made her presence felt with a match-high 18 kills to go with two digs. Talkers posted 40 assists and 16 digs in another monster effort while Wills led the Pioneers with 17 digs.

Transylvania will now look ahead to the final week of HCAC regular-season competition. The Pioneers stand just one HCAC win from their second-consecutive regular-season title and have two chances to accomplish that feat. Their first opportunity will come on Wednesday, October 30 as they visit the Mount St. Joseph University Lions in Cincinnati, Ohio at 7:00 p.m.

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