LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant volleyball team extended its home winning streak to 14 with a pair of USA South victories on Saturday. The Scots rallied to defeat LaGrange in five sets (24-26, 25-18, 20-25, 25-20, 15-8) before sweeping Piedmont in the day's finale (25-18, 25-22, 25-18).
Covenant (5-8, 3-0 USA South) not only extended its home win streak to 14, dating back to the start of the 2017 season, it also stretched a conference regular season win streak to 17 (the longest current streak in the USA South). The Scots have also not lost a home conference regular season contest since 2014, a streak of 19 matches.
Covenant had to rally back from a 2-1 match deficit, but the Scots were able to do so by taking the fourth set and then pulling away for a fifth set victory and the match.
Hannah Harris had a match-high 16 kills, while Alexa Spurling had 13 kills and a .429 hitting percentage. Sophie Puertas produced a double-double of 47 assists and 14 digs. Hannah Stewart recorded 28 digs for a second straight match and Sara Delk and Emily Moore had 15 digs apiece.
Covenant dropped the first set, but recovered with a 25-18 second set win. The Scots used a 9-2 run to pull ahead 21-13 in the set, thanks to kills from Harris and Spurling and a service ace from Leah Buys. A Josita Marshall kill ended the set and tied the match at 1-1.
In the fourth, Covenant trailed in the match but responded again. The Scots had 13 kills in the frame and led for the majority of the game before holding off the visiting Panthers late. LaGrange climbed within 24-20, but a Meriel Chupp kill gave the Scots the set win. In the fifth, it was another late run that put Covenant ahead for good. Ahead 10-8, the Scots scored the final five points to secure the victory.
Buys finished with six aces and five digs for Covenant, while Delk had eight kills. Allie Jakes and Marshall had three total blocks apiece.
LaGrange (2-6, 0-1 USA South) got seven kills from a trio of players and 18 assists from Lauren Sanders.
In the finale of the day, Covenant led for the majority of the match and came away with a straight set sweep of Piedmont.
Jakes had a match-best 11 kills and Puertas had her second double-double of the day with 36 assists and 13 digs. Delk and Lindsey Stephens had eight kills each, with Delk adding 11 digs in the victory. Stewart added 13 digs, while Buys and Moore had 12 each.
The first set saw five ties and three lead changes, but Covenant took the lead for good after a Piedmont error made it 8-7. The Scots tallied 14 kills in the set and held a comfortable lead for much of the latter portion of the game to win 25-18. In the second, Covenant got out to a 4-1 lead before Piedmont tied it up. The Scots used a Jakes kill to go ahead 6-5 and again held the lead through the rest of the set. Covenant finished the set scoring four of the final six points, capped by a Delk kill, to win 25-22.
The Scots completed the sweep with a strong third set. Covenant had 13 kills and held off Piedmont (5-5, 2-1 USA South) to earn the match win.
Spurling added seven kills and Harris had six kills and five digs.
Alina Roberts led Piedmont with nine kills and Jenna Wendel had 19 assists. Lainey Choiniere totaled 16 digs.
Covenant will host regional foe Birmingham Southern on Wednesday at 7 p.m. It will be a rematch of the 2017 NCAA Tournament first round contest between the teams that saw Covenant earn a five-set win.
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