San Antonio – The fifth-ranked Tiger volleyball team split its opening-day matches at the Trinity Fall Classic on Friday, falling only to #4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CA) College.
Trinity won 25-17, 25-21, 23-25, and 25-16 to defeat the University of La Verne (CA) in its opening match of the tournament. The Tigers then lost 20-25, 25-23, 25-15, 20-25, 11-15 to Claremont.
Claremont led for most of the first set, but Trinity closed to 17-18 with four unanswered points. The Athenas responded with five straight points of their own on their way to the early advantage.
After the Tigers began to pull away in set two, Claremont rallied to tie the game 18-18. Trinity never fell behind, though, and was able to tie things up 1-1.
The third set saw Trinity go on a 10-1 run to take a commanding 16-8 lead on its way to a lopsided win to take the overall 2-1 match lead.
Claremont used a 10-1 run of its own to break a 9-9 tie in the fourth, then held off a late charge by the Tigers to force a fifth set.
The Athenas never trailed in the final set, but Trinity did rally to tie things up 8-8 with four straight points. Claremont then scored five of the next six to go up 13-9 and eventually earn the comeback win.
Early in the match against La Verne, Trinity scored five consecutive points to take a 10-4 advantage, and the Leopards never got closer than a four-point deficit the rest of the way.
The second set was much closer, but the Tigers scored five of the final six points to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The third set belonged to La Verne, though, as the visitors went on an 8-2 run to get on the board and keep the match going.
In the final set, Trinity scored six consecutive points to turn a 10-9 lead into a 16-9 game, and the Tigers were able to finish off the victory.
After starting off the season with six victories, the narrow loss to Claremont marks Trinity's first defeat of the young season. Claremont is the defending NCAA Division III Champion and now stands 5-1 on the year.
Katrina Lieberman finished with the team's only double-double in the match against Claremont, tallying 12 digs to go with her team-best 43 assists. She also had 44 assists and nine digs against La Verne earlier in the day.
Sarah Mullens chalked up 19 digs to lead the way for the Tigers against the Athenas, as well as tying for the team lead with 10 digs against La Verne. She also had three aces in each match to lead Trinity.
Annie Rose Leggett added 10 digs to start the day, then had 14 more to go with three aces against Claremont.
Madeline McKay scored 11 kills against Claremont, preceded by 13 kills and four blocks against La Verne.
Avery Tuggle had a team-best 14 digs to go with nine digs against La Verne, then scored nine kills and 12 digs in the loss to Claremont to narrowly miss a double-double in both matches.
Trinity will finish off the tournament with matches against Concordia (TX) University and the University of Texas-Dallas at 12:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., respectively.