LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The No. 1 seeded Covenant volleyball team climbed to the top of the USA South on Saturday. The Lady Scots defeated Meredith 3-1 in the tournament semifinals early in the day before toppling two-time USA South champion Maryville 3-1 in the championship.
The tournament title gives Covenant (19-12) the USA South's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament which begins next week. The Lady Scots will learn their first round opponent on Monday morning when the NCAA unveils the entire bracket.
The conference tournament title is the first since 1979 for the program and Covenant will make just its second ever appearance in a national tournament. Additionally, it's the first time on record that the Lady Scots have won a conference regular season and tournament title in the same year.
Ginny Moore was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after accumulating 17 kills and 16 digs in the championship match. Chelsea VanDyk was named to the All-Tournament team after recording 16 kills and five total blocks in the victory over Maryville. Schuyler Moore also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team with 45 assists, 11 digs and seven kills.
The first two sets were tightly played with Covenant taking the first game 26-24 before Maryville took the second by the identical 26-24 score.
In the third set, Covenant trailed 16-13 before rallying to take a 21-20 lead on a VanDyk kill. The teams would go back-and-forth for several points, but the Lady Scots secured the final two points, one on a Maryville service error and the final one on a Ginny Moore ace, to take a 2-1 match lead.
In the fourth set, Covenant surged ahead 16-11 on a VanDyk ace and extended the lead to 23-16 after a Maryville error. After Maryville cut its deficit to 23-19, Covenant scored the final two points to earn the win. Schuyler Moore and VanDyk combined for a block on Rachel Kozemko's attack that sent the record crowd in Barnes PE Center into a frenzy as Covenant celebrated its conference championship.
Maryville (18-11) was led by Madison Coker and Nia Haller who each had 12 kills. Clara Adams tallied 27 assists, while Sophia del Campo had 20 digs.
Covenant will learn of its first round opponent in the NCAA Tournament on Monday morning with the NCAA Selection Show.
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