MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- The Covenant volleyball team dropped a pair of matches at the Maryville Invitational on Saturday inside Boydson Baird Gymnasium. The Scots fell in three sets to Rhodes (25-21, 25-13, 25-20) before dropping a three-set decision to Lynchburg (25-22, 25-19, 25-22).
The losses drops Covenant to 0-6 on the year.
Against Rhodes, the Lynx never trailed in the contest as Covenant fell behind early in each set and would not be able to rally all the way back. Hannah Harris led Covenant with eight kills, while Sophie Puertas registered her first career double-double with 22 assists and 10 digs.
Rhodes (6-2) scored the first three points in each of the sets and built leads that the Scots could not overcome. In the first set, Rhodes went ahead 20-11 but Covenant rallied back with a 9-3 scoring run to get within 23-20 forcing a Rhodes timeout. Harris had two kills in the stretch and consecutive Rhodes errors made it a three-point margin. However, Rhodes responded and scored two of the final three points to earn the set win.
After dropping the second set, Covenant again fell behind in the third. Down 20-10, the Scots made one more push to get within striking distance in the set. Covenant scored nine straight points, aided by four service aces and a kill from Riley Howe, to trim the deficit to 20-19. But the margin was too much for the Scots as Rhodes regrouped and went on a 5-1 run to end the set and take the victory.
Rhodes was led by Britt Butler's 12 kills and 11 digs. Mary Frances Daniel led the way with 22 digs and Marissa Hall added 21 assists.
In the match against Lynchburg, Covenant had its most productive offensive output of the year, but slow starts once again were too much to overcome in the three-set loss.
Puertas had a second straight double-double with a career-high 30 assists and 16 digs. Harris tallied eight kills, while Allie Jakes and Howe had seven kills each. Moore totaled 14 digs with Stewart (11 digs) and Josita Marshall (10 digs) also recording double-digit dig numbers.
Lynchburg (3-6) scored the first seven points of the opening set before Covenant sliced the deficit to just 21-20 late in the set. Like the first match, the lead Lynchburg gained was too much for the Scots to get over as the Hornets scored four of the final six points to take the set win.
The second set followed the same script as Lynchburg jumped out to a 9-3 lead early on before the Scots rallied to get within 14-13 after a kill from Meriel Chupp. That would be as close as Covenant would get as Lynchburg sealed the set with 6-3 scoring run for a 25-19 win.
Covenant found itself down in the third set as well. The Scots trailed 18-9 before pulling within 21-20 after an 11-3 run that was capped by an Alexa Spurling kill. The Hornets grabbed the next two points, but Covenant answered with back-to-back points after a combined block from Spurling and Chupp along with an ace from Howe. But Lynchburg had the final say with a kill from Emma Drake followed by a combination block from Sydney Frink and Bria Hayward to win the match.
The Scots had 17 kills in the third set and finished with 35 as a team.
Frink led Lynchburg with eight kills and Erin Farina had 26 assists. Annie Tynes led all players with 18 digs.
Covenant opens its home schedule on Tuesday when it squares off with Mississippi University for Women. First serve in Barnes PE Center is set for 6 p.m.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information. To receive text alerts with score updates or e-newsletters, click here