LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- For a fourth straight year, the Covenant volleyball team was a USA South regular season champion as the Scots claimed the West Division title after going 15-13 overall and 12-2 in conference.
Under sixth-year head coach Joanna Ehman, the Scots were once again picked to win the division title at the start of the season and came through on the final day of the regular season to claim the crown.
It was a bumpy start to the year as the Scots faced one of the toughest schedules in the region. Covenant played three matches against teams that were currently ranked, or were ranked at some point during the season. The Scots also faced five NCAA Tournament teams, including national champion Emory.
In late September, Covenant started to put it all together. The Scots won the first three USA South matches of the year, including five-set wins over Maryville and LaGrange, and then won six straight from Sept. 29-Oct. 13. Five set matches were the norm for the Scots as Covenant went 6-2 in those contests on the year.
MATCH OF THE YEAR:
With eight, five-set matches on the year there was no shortage of exciting moments during the year. However, on the final day of the regular season a sweep was the most meaningful victory of the year.
On Oct. 27, Covenant faced Brevard in the last USA South match of the season. Just a day earlier, the Scots were in second place in the West Division behind a Huntingdon team that swept Covenant. However, Huntingdon lost both of its matches to fall out of first and give Covenant a shot at the regular season crown. All the Scots had to do was defeat Brevard.
Covenant would do just that.
Allie Jakes had nine kills and Hannah Harris had seven and eight digs as the Scots swept Brevard to win the division title. Emily Moore added six kills, three aces, 14 assists, and eight digs while Sophie Puertas had 19 assists, seven aces and eight digs. Stewart added 12 digs and Alexa Spurling totaled six kills.
Covenant scored the first six points in the opening set as Puertas had a pair of aces. The Scots tallied 11 kills in the frame and never trailed to cruise to the 25-16 victory. In the second set, Brevard (2-21, 2-12 USA South) hung tough, but an 8-2 run midway through the set gave the Scots a 20-11 lead and would not look back en route to a 25-14 win.
The Scots then capped the set, the match, and the division title in the third set. The Scots hit .364 as a group with 14 kills and used a strong start to ease past the visiting Tornados 25-16.
- Not only did Covenant beat Brevard for a USA South regular season title on Oct. 27, but also Ehman etched her name in the program's record books once again. With that win, Ehman broke the Covenant career coaching record for wins with her 125th victory. In six years at the helm of the program, Ehman has totaled 126 wins and a winning percentage of .649, both are current program records.
- With the 15-13 overall record, the Scots had a winning season for a ninth straight year. That is the longest active streak for any Covenant athletics program.
- Covenant did not lose a home conference regular season match for a fourth straight season as the Scots own the longest active streak in the USA South at 22 matches. Covenant was last defeated at home by a USA South foe in the regular season on Oct. 25, 2014 vs. Meredith.
Covenant opened the home schedule with a sweep of Mississippi University for Women on Sept. 11. The win was the Scots' 12th straight at home.
Assists per set:
Sophie Puertas - 7.10... fifth in the USA South
USA South Rookie of the Week
Riley Howe - Oct. 22
USA South All-Sportsmanship
USA South Team Sportsmanship Award
Team - fourth straight year
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
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