Fall sports are in full swing and to no surprise, Trinity University volleyball has been completely dominant in pre-conference play, defeating seven of their last eight opponents. This streak included wins against top-ranked teams such as California Lutheran University, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Tigers are 10-2 in the season.
â€œOur coach does a great job of making sure that we play some of the top teams in the country every weekend,â€ said sophomore middle blocker Maggi Linker. â€œWe always play ranked teams, and that gives us an amazing opportunity to take them down. â€¦ Right now, weâ€™re building a lot of confidence.â€
The Tigers took down the previously No. 11-ranked team, California Lutheran, in the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational on Sept. 9. Trinity swept Cal Lu 3-0 and continued on to defeat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Madeline McKay, a senior outside hitter, believes the win against Claremont was a redemption match that has given the Tigers that new level of confidence.
â€œThere are so many games this season I would consider my favorite, but I would have to say Claremont. We did exactly to them what they did to us last season, and it gave us a certain confidence that we didnâ€™t have yet,â€ McKay said.
After going 3-1 at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational, the Tigers moved up in the latest Division III poll, becoming the No. 7-ranked team in the nation. The Trinity Fall Classic was held on campus Sept. 15â€“16, and the Tigers went 4-0, taking down No. 11-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, East Texas Baptist University and Pomona-Pitzer.
â€œIt was a great weekend going 4-0 and beating a nationally-ranked team, so weâ€™re pleased,â€ said head coach Julie Jenkins.
Despite falling behind in some of the matches, the Tigers were able to come out on top.
â€œThe team we have this season has a certain drive and desire that has been unmatched so far,â€ McKay said.
â€œOur biggest focus this year is to treat every game the same, whether we are playing top-ranked teams or teams that arenâ€™t ranked. We are just trying to focus on how hard we are playing and how tough we are being as a team, which will help us be ready for conference,â€ Linker said.
The Tigers look to continue to dominate this Friday. Conference play begins and the Tigers will face Southwestern University, another nationally-ranked team. The Tigers arenâ€™t too worried about facing another top-tier team.
â€œWe have been able to perform so well against top ten teams because we ourselves are a top 10 team,â€ McKay said.
The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) is one of the toughest conferences in the country; three teams from the SCAC are not only nationally ranked, but ranked in the top 10.
â€œWe plan to stay dominant during SCAC play by focusing on each task at hand, and playing in the moment. Our team hasnâ€™t even peaked yet,â€ McKay said.
The Tigers next home game is Oct. 13, where they will take on Texas Lutheran University. The following day, the Tigers will square off against Southwestern and Schreiner Universities.
â€œWe know that we have to play big games every weekend, and our goal is to grow in our mental toughness every week,â€ Linker said.