DANVILLE, Va. -- It took a comeback, but the No. 1 seed Covenant volleyball team extended its winning streak to 15 and advanced to the USA South Tournament championship match with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-14) victory over No. 2 East seed William Peace on Friday evening inside the Grant Center on the campus of Averett University.
Covenant (23-7) advances to its third USA South Tournament championship match over the last four seasons and will face the winner of No. 1 East seed Averett and No. 2 West seed Maryville on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Grant Center in Danville.
The Lady Scots had to fight back after dropping the first set, but dominated play over the next three games to take the match. Three players recorded double-digit kills led by Jessica Seehorn's 12 while Allie Jakes had 11 and Ginny Moore 10. Seehorn and Moore also recorded double-doubles with digs as Moore had 20 and Seehorn 13. Schuyler Moore tallied 37 assists, a team-high 25 digs and five kills. Hannah Harris added nine kills.
Defensively, Covenant was stout again. The Lady Scots registered seven team blocks, led by Seehorn's four block assists. Jakes and Chloe Storm each had three combined blocks and Harris and Schuyler Moore had two apiece. Emily Moore totaled 20 digs and Hannah Stewart had seven along the back line.
Covenant had 50 kills in the match, while limiting William Peace to 32 kills an a .024 hitting percentage.
Covenant led for most of the first half of the set before William Peace made its run. Up 15-11, the Pacers tied the score at 15 but Covenant answered with three straight points capped by Seehorn and Harris back to back kills to go ahead 18-15. William Peace scored six straight to take 21-18 lead and forced a Covenant timeout. Out of the timeout, Covenant fell behind 23-19 before the Lady Scots scored two straight to cut deficit to 23-21, but the Pacers got the final two points to take the initial set.
The Lady Scots fell behind 7-5 in the second set, but scored four straight to take a 9-7 lead. Covenant went ahead by as many as five points at 17-12 after a Seehorn kill and maintained a 3-5 point edge and forced a William Peace timeout after consecutive points brought the lead to 22-17. The Lady Scots would take the set on a William Peace error to even the match at 1-1.
In the crucial third set, the Lady Scots had 15 kills and jumped out to a big, early lead. Covenant was strong out of the gate gaining a 10-2 lead following a Jakes kill, but William Peace responded with an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 12-10. Covenant withstood that rally and got the lead back to 18-12 after another Jakes kill. The Lady Scots then sealed the set on a William Peace error to grab a 2-1 match lead.
Covenant continued the momentum into the fourth set and built another early lead. The Lady Scots took a 10-3 lead after a Harris kill and continued that seven-point edge after back-to-back Ginny Moore kills made it 14-7. Covenant would not let William Peace back into the set after that and secured the match. For the set, the Lady Scots hit a match-best .324 with 17 kills.
William Peace (19-17) was led by Mya Parks' eight kills and Liana Solomon's 26 assists and 18 digs. Carson Williams, the USA South Libero of the Year, led all players with 36 digs.
Covenant will vie for a USA South Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday against either Averett or Maryville. First serve will be at 3 p.m. in Danville.
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