Regional play began this weekend, and all Tiger teams fought to represent Trinity on the court and on the field.
The No. 4-ranked Tiger volleyball team fell short to Pacific Lutheran University in the opening round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) playoffs on Nov. 10.
The Tigers dropped the opening set 25-16, but came back with a huge 25-19 to even the match 1-1. Pacific Lutheran kicked it into gear and capped off the win with two straight victories, 25-23 and 27-25.
The Tigers finished 27-8 this season and will be losing three seniors: Rebecca Hayes, Madeline McKay and Kirby Smith. Hayes, McKay, and Smith all made a lasting impact on the volleyball program both on and off of the court, as all three accumulated several All-SCAC recognition several times throughout their careers, as well as All-Region recognition. Smith was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All American her junior year.
The Tiger women’s soccer team opened up region play on Nov. 11 with a matchup against The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Tigers shut out Mary Hardin-Baylor with a 2-0 win. Goals from Chelsea Cole and Julia Kelly put the Tigers on top.
After advancing to the second round, the Tigers fell short to the Hardin-Simmons University 3-2. Trinity scored early in the game when Hardin-Simmons made an own goal, followed by a goal by Cole. Meredith Licata scored a goal in the 33rd minute to put the Tigers up 2-1. Hardin-Simmons scored a goal in the 82nd minute and another a few moments later to secure the win to advance to the next round.
Trinity bids farewell to nine seniors. For the past four years, the Tigers have been led by Kalli Douma, Jordan Bethea, Hannah Booher, Julia Camp, Meredith Licata, Colleen Markey, Tierney Thomison, Abby Tisdale and Julia Kelly. The seniors gathered many All-SCAC honors, Academic All-American honors and All-Region honors.
The men’s soccer team hosted the first and sound round of regionals at Paul McGinlay Field on Nov. 11 and 12. The Tigers began the tournament with a win against University of Texas at Tyler, 5-1. Junior Austin Michaelis led the Tigers with two goals, and sophomore Blake Lieberman guarded the net with three saves.
“We got a lot of opportunities going just through playing the way we play and sticking to our game plan,” Michaelis said.
Head coach Paul McGinlay was extremely satisfied with the team’s performance on Saturday.
“We really had a tremendous first half. You take 12 shots on goal and limit the opposition to three. … It was the quality of the opportunities we created,” McGinlay said.
The Tigers advanced to play Mary Hardin-Baylor on Sunday evening, but were eliminated from the playoffs with a 3-2 loss. The Trinity offense was led by Brady Johnston and Quentin Van Der Lee, each scoring a goal. Mary-Hardin Baylor was able to sneak in a goal towards the end of the first half, and the game remained scoreless from then on.
“It was a contest worthy of a final,” McGinlay said.
The Tigers will lose seven seniors. Guy Harris, Cooper Fyfe, Daniel Ruano, Brent Mandelkorn, Daylon Gordon, Chris Madden and Kellen Reid have led Trinity for the last four seasons. The senior class made the Tigers proud with many All-SCAC honors, All-American honors and All-Region honors.
The women’s cross-country team competed in the South/Southeast Region championship on Saturday Nov. 11, and snagged the championship with a score of 80 points. The women have qualified for the Division III championships that will take place this weekend in Illinois. Junior Molly McCullough led the Tigers with a third place finish among the 240 runners, followed by Haley McFadden and Laura Taylor, who finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
The men’s team finished fifth among 31 teams, led by first-year Harry Bellow. Senior Austin Brown finished in 32nd place and was able to capture an All-Region honor to finish the season strong.
“I think we all felt pretty great. The cool weather really got me pumped and I think everyone went out and gave it their all,” Bellow said.
Despite setbacks Bellow faced throughout the season, he was glad to go out, compete and finish the season strong.
“I was injured for most of the season so that got me pretty bummed, but coming back and scoring points at conference and regionals has me thrilled to see what our team can do in the future. The highlight of the season was taking back the crown from Colorado College at the conference. We are looking to keep the crown in San Antonio for good,” Bellow said.
The Tiger football team wrapped up their season with a close loss to Berry College, 24-21. Trinity put up a stellar effort all game long and tied the game at 21 early in the fourth quarter, but Berry was able to seal the win with a touchdown drive that ate up the remainder of the clock.
Stay tuned to see how the women’s cross-country team performs at the NCAA National Championship in our Dec. 1 issue.