Kerrville, Texas - The fifth-ranked and defending champion Trinity volleyball team was edged 3-2 by #1 Colorado College Saturday in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship match.
The second-seeded Tigers won the first two sets, but fell 22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-13 to top seed Colorado College.
Trinity held the lead for most of the opening set, until Colorado tied the score at 17-17. The two teams battled back and forth until Trinity won the final three points of the first set to earn the win.
Following a 12-12 tie, Trinity won three straight points and never gave up the lead the rest of the way. The Tigers held a 2-0 advantage in the match, and looked poised to score the upset to take the conference crown.
Colorado got hot in the third, taking a five-point lead late in the set. Trinity battled back to within two with a 4-1 spurt, but Colorado held on to get on the board.
After a 4-0 run to break a 16-16 tie, Colorado took control of the fourth set, but Trinity rallied back to even at 22-22, and then took the lead on a service ace. Colorado scored the final three points to finish off the comeback, and force a fifth set.
In that set, Trinity began with four straight points, but Colorado battled back to tie things up. The teams went back and forth throughout the championship set, but Colorado took the lead for good with two points to break an 11-11 tie. Trinity fought off one match point to make it a 14-13 game, but Colorado finished off the tournament with a title-clinching kill.
Trinity now stands at 27-7 on the season, and Colorado College improved to 31-1.
The Tigers played in their seventh consecutive SCAC final, and had captured three of the previous four titles. Colorado College beat Trinity in the 2012 championship match.
Katrina Lieberman posted a double-double of 53 assists and 14 digs, and was selected for the All-Tournament Team.
Maggi Linker hit. 300, with 11 kills and 20 attempts. Linker blocked four shots, and was also tabbed for the All-Tournament Team.
Avery Tuggle chalked up a hitting percentage of .391, with 11 kills on 23 total attempts.
Kirby Smith's double-double consisted of 13 kills and 14 digs. Smith now has career 1,401 kills in her column, and stands in seventh place in the Trinity record books.
Madeline McKay produced a double-double of a team-best 19 kills, along with 10 digs. McKay has amassed 852 career kills, and moved up to a tie for 21st on Trinity's all-time list.
Sarah Mullens amassed 13 digs, and upped her career total to 1,495. Mullens is 19 digs away from tying for the #12 position in the Tiger record books.
Trinity awaits a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. The NCAA will announce the draw on Monday.