Covenant Volleyball Wins USA South Championship
Saturday, November 4, 2017
The Covenant volleyball team is one resilient bunch of players and coaches.
In the USA South Tournament championship match, the Lady Scots faced No. 1 East seed, and host, Averett and dropped the first two sets before producing a comeback for the ages to take a five-set (13-25, 17-25, 25-22, 28-26, 15-10) victory and claim the program's second conference tournament title in the last three years.
Covenant (24-7) has won 16 straight matches, continuing a program record, and earns the USA South's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Lady Scots will find out their destination and first round opponent in the tournament on Monday at 12:30 p.m. with the NCAA Selection Show.
Schuyler Moore was named the tournament MVP after tallying 37 assists, seven kills, and 12 digs in the win. Ginny Moore and Jessica Seehorn were also All-USA South Tournament honorees as Moore totaled 11 kills and 11 digs, while Seehorn had a team-high 13 kills with 13 digs.
Covenant fell behind 2-0 in the match after Averett (32-4) controlled play through the first two sets. In the first two games, Covenant had trouble getting a consistent attack together, hitting just .028 while Averett hit at a .222 clip.
But the momentum started to swing in the third set. The Lady Scots got the offense going to the tune of 15 kills and a .289 percentage in the game. Three Hannah Harris kills in a span of four points gave Covenant an 18-17 lead forcing an Averett timeout. After Averett tied the set, Covenant scored two straight on a Seehorn kill followed by a combined block from Seehorn and Allie Jakes for a 20-18 lead. The Lady Scots hung on the rest of the set and took it 25-22.
In the fourth, Averett took a quick 3-0 lead in the set before Covenant got within 4-3 on a Schuyler Moore kill. But the Cougars answered with a 6-1 run to go ahead 10-4 and force a Covenant timeout. Out of the timeout, Averett scored to make it 11-4 before the Lady Scots got three straight to slice the deficit to 11-7. The Lady Scots then trailed 18-13 before cutting margin to 20-18 on another Seehorn kill. A combined block from Chloe Storm and Seehorn tied the set at 21.
Covenant then staved off two Averett match points and took a 26-25 lead on a Seehorn kill. The Lady Scots then claimed the set on back-to-back blocks, one solo from Jakes, and another combined from Jakes and Harris
With full momentum on its side, Covenant took the first four points of the fifth set as Harris, Ginny Moore and Storm all had kills. Averett would tie the score at 8-8, but Covenant put together one final strong run to seal the championship. Aided by Averett errors, the Lady Scots took a 14-9 lead on a Seehorn ace and then won the match on another Averett error.
Hannah Shields, the USA South Player of the Year, had a match-high 22 kills to go along with 17 digs. Shields was named to the All-Tournament team along with teammates Brianna Williams and Keenan Marks. Sarah Smoot had 13 kills for the Cougars, while Marks had 25 assists and 13 digs. Emily Stanley led all players with 23 digs.
Covenant will await its first round opponent and location on Monday with the NCAA Selection Show.