Tiger volleyball goes 3-1 at the UT Dallas Invitational

The Trinity volleyball team opened their season 3-1 Aug. 29-30 at the University of Texas at Dallas tournament.

The team played two matches on Friday and two on Saturday, sweeping three of them and losing one.

“In three of the four [matches] we were 3-0, which is not something we did last year. We typically took them to five or four games [last year],” said Layne Hubbard, senior outside hitter.

The Tigers opened the tournament with two 3-0 sweeps against East Texas Baptist and UT-Dallas.

After they took out East Texas Baptist 25-14, 25-22, 25-17. They then shut down host UT-Dallas 25-22, 25-20, 25-14 in a night match.

They started off early Saturday morning losing a close match to Mary Hardin-Baylor 16-25, 26-24, 19-25, 16-25.

“We did not play up to our potential against Mary Hardin-Baylor; we came out flat,” said Julie Jenkins, head volleyball coach. “Our passing fell apart a little bit”¦and we were uncharacteristically high error.”

Then the Tigers finished off the weekend with a win over Hardin-Simmons 25-16, 25-22, 25-17.

“The fact that we could turn it around and come back with so much energy and excitement”¦It made me really proud of the team that we did pull it out and win that match at the end,” said Erin Cusenbary, senior middle blocker.

The offense was firing from all cylinders this weekend for the Tigers.

“I was extremely proud of how hard we played””we never let up””and our offense was totally on fire,” Jenkins said.

The team went from hitting .228 as a team last year to hitting .248 as a team this weekend.

“We really picked up where we left off last year,” Hubbard said. “Our offense was looking good””particularly our middles were hitting really well.”

Cusenbary led the team offensively, hitting .500 for the weekend as well as being second on the team in terms of  kills and first in blocks, averaging 1.3 per game.

“I was shocked to see that I hit .500 to be honest”¦I felt like I improved a lot last year and during the preseason, but I had no idea how that would translate in my stats,” Cusenbary said.

Maggie Emodi, senior outside hitter, also had a strong weekend offensively.

Emodi hit almost .280 for the weekend. She had a double-double in both the match against UT-Dallas and the loss to UMHB with 11 kills and 10 digs in the first match and 18 kills and 10 digs in the other.

Bridget Bohman, senior right side, also had a strong offensive and defensive weekend at the tournament  hitting .250 and finishing second on the team in blocks behind Cusenbary.

After their three opening games the tigers are currently ranked 14th in the nation by the AVCA coaches.

The next tournament for the Tigers begins on Friday, Sept. 5, at the California Lutheran Invitational in Thousand Oaks, Calif..

On Sept. 5 the Tigers will face off against highly ranked teams such as Emory University (Ga.) and Pacific Lutheran University (Wash.), and tough competition on Sept. 6 against both, Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) and California Lutheran University (Calif.).