LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant volleyball team rallied once, but could not do it a second time as the Scots fell 3-1 to No. 16 Berry (25-7, 17-25, 25-18, 25-16) on Tuesday night inside Barnes PE Center.
The loss for Covenant (11-11) snaps a six-match win streak and is just the second home loss in the last 17 matches for the Scots. Berry, ranked No. 16 in the latest AVCA national poll, improves to 18-2 on the year and has won 15 straight.
In a rematch of a thrilling, five-set match in the second round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago, it was Berry that came out swinging early on. The visiting Vikings scored the first six points of the opening set and led 14-3 en route to a 25-7 set one victory. Berry hit 458 in the set with 12 kills.
As has been the case time and again this season, Covenant would respond. The Scots used a 7-1 run early in the second set, capped by a Meriel Chupp kill, to grab a 7-4 lead. Covenant would not trail the rest of the frame as the Scots racked up 12 kills and ended the set with a Hannah Harris kill.
The third set was the most back-and-forth game of the night as it featured three ties and a pair of lead changes. Covenant led 9-7 after a kill from Allie Jakes, but Berry would go on an 8-1 run to seize control of the game. Covenant got within four twice later in the set but the Vikings were too much as the visitors took a 2-1 match lead. In the fourth, Berry jumped out to an 11-3 lead and would hold off a late Covenant rally to complete the win.
Alexa Spurling had eight kills to lead the Scots, while Riley Howe had seven and Jakes and Chupp six each. Harris led the defense with 14 digs to go with her five kills and Emily Moore tallied 30 assists.
Berry's combination of Emily Hancock and Carson VanCampen were tough to handle all night. Hancock finished with a double-double of 18 kills and 13 digs, while VanCampen had 15 kills, with a .458 hitting percentage, and six total blocks. Emily Rapach added 18 assists and Laura Beier recorded 19 digs in the win.
Covenant travels to Montgomery, Ala., for a key USA South tri-match on Saturday. The Scots face Huntingdon at 1 p.m. EDT before taking on Agnes Scott at 3 p.m. EDT.
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