FeaturedSportsVolleyball wins 17 straight matches

No. 6 Tigers head to SCAC Tournament as the top-seeded team
Megan FloresNovember 6, 2019394 min
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Photos by Genevieve Humphreys

The Trinity volleyball team competed in their final regular-season home games of the year. Last Friday, the Tigers hosted Hardin-Simmons University, while Saturday’s game was against East Texas Baptist University.

“This weekend was the perfect opportunity to get the team ready for the conference tournament. Specifically, the last game of the weekend challenged us in the first set. However, it allowed us to practice mental toughness, which is something that we have been emphasizing and practicing all season,” said junior libero Sami Lin.

Trinity began Friday’s game with an impressive 16–3 run in the opening set, before closing out the set 25–12. Despite trailing 10–12 in the next set, the Trinity team won 11 straight points to secure the second set by a score of 25–16. They went on to win the third set 25–15.

The game was also the team’s celebration of Senior Night, in which right-side hitter Maggi Linker and setter Katrina Lieberman were honored for their contributions to the team over the past four years.

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Volleyball nears the end of their regular season with a bang, including multiple awards and a 17-match win streak. Photo by Genevieve Humphreys

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“Trinity volleyball has had the largest impact of anything on my collegiate experience. I have been able to grow so much as a person and player throughout these four years, and I am so grateful for every minute of it. I could not have asked for better teammates, and I will miss playing side by side with them every weekend and getting to see them every day at practice,” Lieberman said.

Lin complimented the positive impact that both Lieberman and Linker have had on the team during their collegiate volleyball careers.

“I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to be able to play with Kat and Maggi for three years. They have been nothing but welcoming and encouraging to me since freshman year, as with every single player on the team. Their leadership and character are qualities that I admire. Their presence makes everything run smoothly, whether it is on or off the court,” Lin said.

On Saturday, the team faced East Texas Baptist University in their final game of the regular season. The Tigers lost the first set 25–22, but they quickly recovered to take the second set 25–18. They used this momentum to quickly take the next two sets with scores of 25–19 and 25–17. The victory marked the team’s 17th consecutive win. Additionally, they clinched an undefeated record at home for the first time since 1998.

“Our team has been doing amazing this second half of the season. Our win against Colorado [College] was huge for us because it proved that we should be number one in the West Region, and it got us all even more excited to see what we can do in after our regular-season games. Our team gets along so well on and off the court, and our ability to lean on each other and trust one another gives us an advantage that not a lot of other teams have,” Lieberman said.

For her impressive performance over the weekend, junior outside hitter Annie Rose Leggett earned Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Offensive Player of the Week honors. Leggett recorded 27 kills in two matches, including a career-high 20 against East Texas Baptist. The week prior, she was also named the SCAC Defensive Player of the Week.

“Before these games, coach talked to us about staying mentally tough throughout these two matches and really focusing on the little details, whether it’s passing, serving, hitting or blocking.

I made sure to really emphasize this in those games so that I could contribute to the team in a positive way,” Leggett said. “It’s really a team effort though in the end, and this team is so athletic and dedicated to being the best we can possibly be. Every weekend, I’m excited to see how much we continue to grow.”

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The Tigers are the top-seeded team at this weekend's SCAC Championship at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin and will play against the winner of No. 4 University of Dallas and No. 5 Austin College. Photo by Genevieve Humphreys

Head coach Julie Jenkins was elected the SCAC Volleyball Coach of the Year, while junior outside hitter Avery Tuggle was named the SCAC Volleyball Player of the Year. Tuggle was also chosen for the All-SCAC First Team, along with Leggett and sophomore middle blocker Emily Ellis. Trinity’s 17-match win streak led the Tigers to a 31–4 overall record along with a 17–1 record in conference play.

“This 17-match win streak has been huge for our team. It just proves how much better we get each game, no matter the opponent. We take every game [and] team seriously, and it shows when you look at our team stats and see how they go up with each week. Our coaches have been key in pushing each of us, knowing that we have what it takes to keep this winning streak going all the way to the end,” Leggett said.

The Tigers are the top-seeded team at this weekend’s SCAC Championship at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. With this seeding, the team earned a bye into Saturday’s semifinal round and will play at noon against the winner of No. 4 University of Dallas and No. 5 Austin College. The championship match is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, with the winner guaranteed an automatic bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Playoffs.

“I believe our team’s goal this weekend will be to continue to show our confidence every time we step on the court. We have such an outstanding team, and this really shows when we play with that confidence of knowing just how strong we are together. If we do this when we play this weekend, and all the weekends to follow, we will be unstoppable,” Leggett said.

Megan Flores

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