Volleyball team ties for first at Trinity National Invitational with three victories

The Trinity women’s volleyball team hosted the Trinity National Invitational last weekend. The Tigers competed in matches against Berry College, Hardin-Simmons University, Whitworth University and Chapman University. They were 3-1 from the weekend games, losing only to Whitworth, and tied for first in the tournament.

Trinity played Berry and Hardin-Simmons on Friday, defeating both teams. They shut out Berry 3-0 and completed the game with 43 kills and 39 assists. Junior outside hitter/middle blocker and captain Maggie Emodi and junior outside hitter Layne Hubbard combined to produce 21 kills and 21 digs. Senior setter and captain Maryn Swierc had 17 assists and five digs in the game.

“All in all, we had a successful weekend. The Hardin-Simmons match was really important because we had beaten them two weeks ago and we absolutely had to beat them again. That was a really important win. With Hardin-Simmons, it was nice to see other strengths of our team become evident. In the past, up until now, we’ve had the majority of our scoring from our middle hitters and our outside hitters and in the Hardin-Simmons match, it was our right-side hitters for the first time that led in kills. It’s the sign of a good team that when we’re not getting the scoring in other areas, other people step up and find a way for the team to win,” said head coach Julie Jenkins.

The Tigers won their second match of the day against the Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls 3-1. They lost the first set but immediately rallied to win the next three sets and take the match. Junior right-side hitter, Audrey Hazelwood, led the team in kills, recording 11. The Tigers completed the game with 47 kills and 45 assists. Swierc and first-year setter Erica Edrington combined to produce 43 of the Tigers’ 45 assists.

Trinity continued to play on Saturday, competing against Whitworth and Chapman. The Tigers lost to Whitworth, but immediately recovered to shut out their last game of the weekend against Chapman.
“This weekend went really well. We didn’t play to our highest caliber, but we still were able to come out with wins against pretty decent teams. We really struggled with passing this weekend. Whitworth is a good team, so if you don’t show up ready to play, they’re going to wipe you off the court,” Emodi said.

Trinity fell 3-0 to Whitworth, only hitting .129 and recording 33 kills, 32 assists and 18 errors. Edrington and Swierc produced 30 of the team’s 32 assists in the match.
“We were not as mentally tough as the other team. They were a good team, but we could have easily beaten them. I think our mental game was a bit off, which is uncharacteristic for us,” Swierc said.
Trinity bounced back from the Whitworth match, defeating Chapman 3-0 and hitting .391. They completed the game with 53 kills, 49 assists and 56 digs.

“We picked up really well after that game and had a short-term memory and just came out with a lot of energy after a loss and came out with a win,” said junior right-side hitter Audrey Hazelwood.
Hubbard had a double-double in the match, registering 12 kills and 12 digs. Hubbard hit .490 and had three aces. Emodi also had a double-double, hitting .409 and registering 11 kills and 10 digs.
“What made me really happy was that the team completely changed gears and dominated against Chapman. It was one of our best offensive performances, so we went from one of our worst offensive performances to one of our very best offensive performances. It was really fun to watch. It was the fourth match of the weekend and they kept their focus throughout the entire match. They elevated their play and it was their best match of the weekend. Hitting .391 is pretty spectacular. It was nice to end on a really positive note. We have good momentum going into next weekend’s matches,” Jenkins said.

Next weekend the Tigers travel to Schreiner University for the SCAC Group A Divisional.
“It’s our first conference tournament of the season so we’re really excited. We’re not the same team that we were last year; we’ve had so many improvements. We’re ready to come out and hopefully have a powerful start and let everyone know that we’re back and that we’re ready to win conference,” Hazelwood said.