The Covenant volleyball team faced a stiff challenge in Piedmont on the road on Tuesday evening. Stephanie Kirkpatrick tallied her 11th double-double of the season with 27 assists and 16 digs, but the Lady Scots fell in three sets to the host Lions (25-14, 26-24, 25-16).
Covenant drops to 14-10 overall and 7-5 inside the USA South. However, the Lady Scots still hold firm to the third spot in the South Division which is needed in order to qualify for next month's USA South tournament. Piedmont completes the season sweep of Covenant and improves to 23-6 overall and 9-4 in league play.
Kirkpatrick also added four kills to her totals in the loss. Chelsea VanDyk had 12 kills while Cora Schroeder and Anna Swain each compiled five. Schroeder accumulated a team-high 18 digs with Estes Carlson and Jaclyn Stuart chipping in 12 and 11 digs, respectively.
Piedmont jumped out to an early lead in the opening set before Covenant trimmed the deficit to four points on two occasions with the second one coming at 12-8. But Piedmont would not let the Lady Scots any closer as they cruised to the game win.
The second set saw a back-and-forth affair before Covenant pulled ahead 24-22 on the strength of consecutive points after a Caroline Cone kill and a Piedmont error. The Lions rallied back with four straight points on successive kills for a 26-24 set win.
Covenant gained a slim 11-10 lead in the third set, but Piedmont would score nine of the following 11 points to take a 19-13 advantage. Covenant would get no closer than five points the rest of the set.
Piedmont was led Kaitlin Norman's nine kills while Xandy Green had 17 assists and Katie Faith tallied 19 digs.
Covenant will be back on the court on Saturday when they travel to Fayetteville, N.C., for a pair of USA South matches against Meredith (12 p.m.) and Methodist (4 p.m.).