MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- The Covenant volleyball team took the first set, but could not carry that momentum the rest of the match as Averett defeated the Lady Scots 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16) in the opener of the Maryville Invitational on Friday at Boydson Baird Gymnasium.
The loss is the third straight for Covenant (3-6). Averett (8-2) was the preseason favorite to win the USA South East Division. Though both are members of the USA South, the match does not count toward league standings.
Covenant was strong in the first set with 13 kills in the frame. The set saw nine ties, but just two lead changes as the Lady Scots rarely trailed in the set. Covenant went ahead 19-14 after scoring three straight points, capped by a Hannah Stewart ace. The lead would be cut to 23-21 before an Averett error made it 24-21. After two straight Averett points, Covenant ended the set with a kill from Allie Jakes.
In the second, Averett went ahead for good with a 6-1 run for a 13-8 lead. The Cougars held off a Covenant rally that sliced the margin to three at 19-16 before going on to win the set 25-18. Averett also never trailed in the third set to gain a 2-1 match lead and then scored the first nine points in the fourth to pull away for the victory.
Ginny Moore recorded 11 kills to go with eight digs, while Chloe Storm and Hannah Harris had six kills each. Schuyler Moore totaled 34 assists, seven digs and three kills. Stewart led the defensive effort with 16 digs with Emily Moore accounting for 11.
Averett had two players register double-digit kills led by Sarah Smoot's 16. Hannah Shields had 12 kills and 26 digs, while Keenan Marks had 28 assists and 13 digs. Emily Stanley added 19 digs in the win.
Covenant will play Greensboro (11 a.m.) and William Peace (1:30 p.m.) on Saturday to wrap-up the Maryville Invitational.
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