The Lady Scots volleyball team beat long-time rival Maryville last Saturday in a rematch of last year’s tournament finals. This year, the Covenant Scots took home the trophy, toppling Maryville’s hopes of winning their third consecutive USA South tournament.
While Covenant entered the match seeded first, it was no waltz to the top of the podium. The Lady Scots entered the tournament down their starting libero, which they’ve found this year in athletic freshman Ariana Buchanan (concussion). Hannah Stewart (30 digs in final game), also a freshman, stepped up to the difficult role and helped spur the team to three consecutive, decisive wins.
Covenant faced a difficult game in both its semifinal opponent, Meredith, as well as final rival Maryville. In these games, sophomore Ginny Moore lead the team with a combined 33 kills. Moore responded to the championship victory, referring to it as “an unforgettable moment, especially since we were able to host and be cheered on by our fantastic friends and family.” Moore, named tournament MVP following the final game, was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Schuyler Moore and Chelsea VanDyk.
Schuyler, named captain this year as a sophomore, reflected, “Winning the tournament was an awesome way to end the season. We worked hard this year and it was cool to see it all pay off in the end. The fans were so amazing and it’s a moment our team will never forget.” Both twins attributed their success in conference to a constant team effort.
The team travelled to Berry College on Thursday, where it faced national power Hendrix in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Covenant battled in a 3-0 loss. Hendrix entered the match 26-8, while the Lady Scots ended their season with a final record of 19-13. In this game, Chelsea VanDyk recorded a team high of nine kills, ending her career at Covenant with a total of 1,377 kills, second most in program history. Ginny Moore and Morgan Opgenorth added seven each. Schuyler Moore set up 26 assists for the Lady Scots in their final game of the season.
While suffering a tough loss in their final game, Covenant tallied a USA South regular season championship as well as a USA South conference tournament championship for the first time in program history. The Lady Scots will lose four seniors in preparation for next season, including Chelsea VanDyk, Jaclyn Stewart, Hannah Rogers and Kelsey Mathis.
Expectations for next season are high as the majority of a very talented team returns to seek out another conference title and run at the NCAA tournament.