San Antonio - The seventh-ranked Tiger volleyball team opened its Trinity Fall Classic Friday with straight-sets victories over Hardin-Simmons (TX) University and #11 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Calgaard Gymnasium.
Trinity opened the day with a 25-15, 25-10, 25-20 win over Hardin-Simmons, and concluded the evening by defeating Wisconsin-Whitewater 25-18, 25-21, 25-20.
The Tigers were in control most of the match with Hardin-Simmons, starting off with a .367 hitting percentage in the opening stanza. The sharp-shooting Tigers were even better in the second set, hitting .550 and jumping out to a 21-9 lead. The third set was a bit tighter, as the Cowgirls closed to within two points late, but Trinity held on for the sweep.
In the showdown between two ranked teams, Trinity actually fell behind early on, as Whitewater led 13-6. The Tigers stormed back to win 13 of the next 14 points to take a 17-14 lead, and eventually, the first set. Trinity started off hot in the second set, but this time it was Whitewater that rallied, and the two teams were neck-and-neck with a 20-20 score late in the game. The Tigers won five of the next six points, though, and took command of the match. In the third, Trinity was able to hold off another Whitewater rally to earn the sweep.
Trinity now stands at 8-2, and can claim five wins over nationally ranked teams.
The team's .384 hitting percentage for the match against Hardin-Simmons was a season-best mark.
Maggi Linker hit .545 in the opener, with seven kills and only one error.
Avery Tuggle posted a .364 hitting percentage against the Cowgirls, with eight kills and no errors.
Kirby Smith led the first matchup with 13 digs, and registered eight kills in each match. Smith now has 1,136 kills, and is 14th in Trinity's record books.
Rebecca Hayes blocked five shots in the opener, then two more against Whitewater to move up to 12th in the Tiger record books with 311 career blocks.
Amelia Roden posted 15 assists against Hardin-Simmons, and had also added 12 in the Whitewater match.
Trinity concludes the tournament with matches against East Texas Baptist University (1:00 p.m.) and Pomona-Pitzer (CA) Colleges (5:00 p.m.) on Saturday.