Volleyball team opens conference year with three road victories over weekend

Trinity’s volleyball team finished a perfect 3-0 weekend of Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference action with wins over both Schreiner University and Texas Lutheran University last Saturday, in addition to a victory over Southwestern University this past Friday.

The Tigers opened conference play with a narrow victory against Southwestern.  Trinity won 25-17 and 26-24 in the first two sets, then Southwestern rallied with a 28-26 in the third, followed by a 25-21 win in set four.  The final set was just as close as the rest of the match, with the Tigers pulling off a 15-13 victory.

First-year setter Erika Edrington finished with 21 assists and 12 digs, as well as serving up a team-best two aces.  Senior setter Maryn Swierc led the Tigers with 25 assists and 11 digs.

“I think our proudest moment would be beating Southwestern in a five game match, which was our first of the season. Last season, we really struggled to win in the fifth game, so it was a huge mental stride for us to win a five-game match against a solid team,” Swierc said.

Junior outside hitter Maggie Emodi also posted a double-double for Trinity, scoring a team best of 14 kills to go with 20 digs and six blocked shots.  Sophomore defensive specialist Shannon Courtney led the way for the Tigers with 25 digs, while senior middle back Kelsey Daniel finished with 10 blocks.  Daniel also had six kills and a .312 hitting percentage for the match.

Junior middle back Erin Cusenbary was Trinity’s only other player to reach double figures in kills, finishing with 10, and also added five blocks.  Junior outside hitter Layne Hubbard had nine kills and 11 digs as well.

The Tigers began the second day of the conference with a win over Schreiner, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16; and then beat Texas Lutheran, 18-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19.

“I think what has given us success so far this season is the composure that we have shown in high pressure situations,” Edrington said.

Swierc produced two double-doubles on Saturday. She started with 19 assists and 11 digs against Schreiner, then accounted for 15 assists and 14 digs in the match with Texas Lutheran. Emodi also registered a double-double against Texas Lutheran, firing up 10 kills and making 16 digs.

Hubbard had a team-best 15 digs in the opener against Schreiner, and exploded for 20 in the second match of the afternoon. Hubbard and Cusenbary shared the lead in kills against Schreiner, with eight kills each. Junior right-side hitter Audrey Hazelwood made seven kills of her own. Hazelwood tied Emodi for the lead in kills in the match with the Bulldogs, with 10 on the books. Courtney added 14 digs in the Schreiner match. Edrington made 13 assists against the Schreiner Mountaineers, and 17 in the match-up with Texas Lutheran.

Daniel blocked eight shots against TLU and another two in the match against Schreiner.

“Our team is better and we came out ready to play,” said head coach Julie Jenkins.

Trinity travels to Georgetown, Texas, next Saturday and Sunday for the SCAC Divisional at Southwestern University, where they will face the University of Dallas, Centenary College, Colorado College and Austin College. The Tigers return home to host Our Lady of the Lake at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, in Sam’s Gymnasium. The Tigers host this year’s SCAC tournament from Friday, Nov. 8 to Sunday, Nov. 10.