COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Covenant volleyball team opened up its trip to Colorado and the Pikes Peak Challenge with a split on day one of the event. The Scots defeated Johnson & Wales (Colo.), 3-1 (25-13, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20) in the opener before pushing No. 2-ranked Colorado College in a 3-1 loss (25-10, 23-25, 25-7, 25-8) in the nightcap.
Covenant goes to 2-7 on the year with the split.
vs. Johnson & Wales
Stephens had 13 kills and tallied a .379 hitting percentage to go along with two blocks. Delk added a team-best 16 digs and led the team with 42 attacks. Hannah Harris registered 12 kills, while Sophie Puertas had 44 assists and 14 digs. Emily Moore totaled 11 digs with Hannah Stewart adding nine and Josita Marshall eight.
Except for a tough second set, the Scots were exceptional on the attack all afternoon. Covenant posted at least a .290 hitting percentage in the three sets it won. The Scots had a 53-37 edge in total kills.
The Scots raced out to a 10-3 lead in the opening set and never looked back in the game to take a 1-0 match lead. Covenant held a late lead in the second set, but Johnson & Wales scored the final four points to capture the win and even the match at 1-1.
Covenant would assert itself once again over the final two sets. The Scots had 16 kills in the third set and 12 in the fourth, including a .321 attack percentage, to earn the win. In the third set, the Scots got out to a 10-3 lead and led 20-8 later on in the frame. In the fourth, Covenant opened up a seven-point edge after going on an 11-4 scoring run to seize control. A kill from Alexa Spurling sealed the win for the Scots.
Spurling added nine kills, three aces, two blocks, and four digs to aid in the victory.
Ashlee Ruehs led Johnson & Wales (0-10) with 12 kills. Jacquelyn Ortiz had 19 assists and Brooke Paxton added 20 digs in the loss.
vs. Colorado College
Facing an undefeated and No. 2 nationally-ranked Colorado College squad, Covenant hung tough with the tournament hosts before falling in four sets.
Covenant was able to do something only two other Colorado College opponents had done all year before Friday; win a set.
After dropping the first set, the Scots regrouped and put together a strong second set. Covenant produced 17 kills in the frame with a .353 hitting percentage, while limiting the host Tigers to just a .257 clip.
However, Covenant had to climb out of an early hole as Colorado College took a 5-0 lead. Covenant got back in it and took an 8-7 lead on a Delk kill. The teams traded points throughout the back-and-forth set as there were seven ties and three lead changes in the game.
Covenant would go on a 6-1 run, highlighted by two Harris kills, to gain a 20-17 lead in the set. Colorado College rallied to tie the score at 23-23, but Covenant won the final two points as Riley Howe and Delk recorded consecutive kills for the 25-23 set win.
Colorado College (10-0) seized momentum in the match early in the third set as the Tigers got out to a 16-3 lead and took a 2-1 match lead. Covenant would hang tough in the fourth set, but the Tigers were too much for the Scots to overcome.
Howe and Harris had nine kills each to lead Covenant, while Puertas had 23 assists and 11 digs. Delk and Spurling added five kills apiece and Stewart had 15 digs with Moore recording 11 digs.
Haley Harris and Margo Speathling led Colorado College with 15 kills each. Lizzy Counts had 39 assists and Anna Gurolnick 15 digs.
Covenant will conclude its trip to Colorado on Saturday when it squares off with host Colorado College once again. First serve is set for 2 p.m. EDT (12 p.m. MDT).
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