LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- With back-to-back USA South regular season championships under their belt, the Covenant volleyball is seeking to continue that success into 2017. Fifth-year head coach Joanna Ehman returns four starters, plus the libero, for a team that claimed a West Division title in the USA South a season ago.
The season begins on Friday, Sept. 1 as the Lady Scots travel to Birmingham, Ala., to take part in the McAttack Bash, hosted by Birmingham Southern. Covenant plays Sewanee on Sept. 1, then Washington & Lee and Birmingham Southern on Sept. 2.
Three seniors anchor the returners in 2017. Ginny Moore, Schuyler Moore and Jessica Seehorn make up a senior class that has compiled a long list of team and individual accomplishments during their careers and all three players were All-USA South honorees last season. Also returning are juniors Hannah Harris and Hannah Stewart. Harris tallied 200 kills last year, while Stewart was the libero and averaged 4.11 digs per set.
Covenant also returns five sophomores in Emily Moore, Lindsey Stephens, Allie Jakes, Chloe Storm and Haley Taylor. All five saw significant time on the court a year ago and look to build off their freshman seasons. Junior Olivia Becker, who did not play last season due to injury, also returns.
The recruiting class netted three freshman. Sara Delk, Sophie Puertas and Alexa Spurling comprise the class and all three could see action. Yolanda Melgarejo joins the team for the first time as a sophomore.
As usual, Covenant will play a challenging non-conference schedule followed by USA South play. The home opener is set for Sept. 6 against SAA-foe Oglethorpe. Maryville (Sept. 20) and Piedmont (Oct. 14) will be key conference home matches and the Lady Scots will look to rebound from last year's USA South Tournament loss to LaGrange when the Panthers visit on Oct. 14.
Three non-conference tournaments make up the majority of the non-league slate. Covenant will face DeSales, Howard Payne and Chapman all for the first time at the Emory Classic on Sept. 8-9. The Lady Scots travel back to Atlanta on Sept. 28 for a contest with preseason No. 2-ranked Emory. Covenant will host Berry (Oct. 18) and Sewanee (Oct. 26) in non-conference matches.
A few milestones are in play for the Lady Scots this season:
- Head coach Joanna Ehman is 14 wins shy of 100 career coaching victories. Ehman would become just the second coach in program history to eclipse the 100-win plateau. Her current .647 winning percentage (86-47) is the best for any coach in program history.
- With 2,725 career assists, Schuyler Moore is 23 assists shy of breaking the program record in the rally scoring era. Moore currently holds the career record for assists per set (7.79).
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