Volleyball loses first game, comes back to win next two games at Trinity National Invitational

The seniors of the volleyball team had their last weekend of play in front of a home crowd this weekend as the Tigers hosted the Trinity National Invitational.

The weekend began on Friday, Oct. 31, for senior night when the team battled against the fourth-ranked Wittenberg Tigers (Ohio).

The Tigers came out early in the match with strong offense and very few errors. They ran away with the first set 25-11 and then won the second set 25-19.

Wittenberg had several hitting errors early in the match, but  in the third set they began to pick up their tempo and play in a fast-paced style of offense, which cut down their errors. Wittenberg took the next three sets 25-16, 25-15,15-8.

“We just weren’t able to get the scoring that we needed those last three games,” said head coach Julie Jenkins. “Even in the fifth game, it was seven all and then they went on an 8-2 run to finish it off.”

Senior outside hitter Maggie Emodi lead all players in the match with 21 kills and 13 digs, recording a double-double for the match. She also had two blocks and hit .241 in the loss. She was named SCAC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season.

Sophomore setter Erika Edrington recorded her own double-double with 32 assists and 17 digs. She also hit a few dumps to register two kills.

“We have a great team and our passing is awesome, which makes the setter’s job a whole lot easier,” Edrington said.

The Tigers came out strong the next morning and swept Randolph-Macon (Va.) in three sets 25-19, 25-15, 25-20.

Emodi posted another double-double with 11 kills, 15 digs and a hitting percentage of .364 in the match. Senior outside hitter Layne Hubbard also had 12 kills off of 33 total attacks and hit .273.

They finished the weekend 2-1 with a 25-17, 15-25, 25-20, 25-15 win over Hardin-Simmons University (Texas).

Senior middle blocker Erin Cusenbary came back strong on offense Saturday after struggling against Wittenberg, recording 16 kills, a hitting percentage of .419 and seven blocks. She is now second in Trinity history for the number of blocks in a career with 521.

Edrington also had four kills of her own, along with 35 assists and 12 digs, recording another double-double.

This senior squad has gone 94-48 during their four-year careers, and had a trip to the NCAA regional final last season and back-to-back conference championships.

“It’s been awesome””they’re awesome girls to work with. They’re all very unique in their playing style and their lifestyles off the court. It just makes for a really fun dynamic on the team,” Emodi said.

Jenkins touted this group of six players’s work ethic and leadership abilities during practice and on the court.

“All six of them have contributed so much, but they have also been a great example for everybody else on the team as far as their work ethic, and they have all been good leaders,” Jenkins said.

Many of the players have battled multiple surgeries and injuries but continued to stay strong both as individuals and as teammates.

“We all have gone through a lot during our four years here””almost all of us have had to deal with an injury””we’ve come so close but fallen short in several postseason competitions, we’ve dealt with teammates quitting””but all of that has brought us closer together,” Cusenbary said.

At 3:30 p.m. today, in Sherman, Texas, the top-seeded Tigers will play in the conference tournament against the winner of today’s matchup against No. 4 University of Dallas (Texas) and No. 5 Texas Lutheran University (Texas).