San Antonio - The 10th-ranked Trinity volleyball team wrapped up its regular-season home slate with a 3-1 victory over #21 University of Mary-Hardin-Baylor (TX) on Wednesday.
After dropping the opening set 22-25, the Tigers prevailed with three straight set wins by scores of 25-18, 25-14, and 25-22.
The first set went back and forth with neither team leading by more than four points. That lead came when UMHB slipped in front of Trinity 19-15, but the Tigers took seven of the next 10 points to tie things up 22-22. The Crusaders then finished off the first set with three unanswered points to take the early 1-0 lead.
Trinity never trailed in the second set, beginning with a 9-4 run that led to a timeout for Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Crusaders fought back within one at 16-15 midway through the set, but the Tigers sprinted to the end of the game by winning nine of the next 12 points to tie things up 1-1.
That momentum carried into the third set that saw the home team post a red-hot .500 hitting percentage. Trinity turned a narrow 9-6 lead into a commanding 21-10 advantage that ended up with the Tigers taking the 2-1 match lead.
The Crusaders battled back in the fourth by turning a 9-9 tie game into a 15-10 lead for the visitors. Trinity used an 11-2 run that featured eight consecutive points to take control with a 21-17 advantage. Mary Hardin-Baylor closed to within two at 23-21, but the Tigers were able to finish off the victory by scoring two of the next three points.
The Tigers have won 11 of their last 12 matches and stand at 21-5 on the season. Trinity posted a 10-3 record during the regular season in Calgaard Gym.
Mary Hardin-Baylor had its five-match win streak broken and dropped to 22-3.
The match also had regional implications as Mary Hardin-Baylor is ranked second in the West Region, while Trinity holds a #4 ranking in the region.
Sarah Mullens accounted for 28 digs, the highest total for a four-set match this season. Mullens has accrued 1,920 digs in her career and needs just 37 more to break Trinity's all-time record, which was set by Meredith Erwin (2009-2012).
Katrina Lieberman made 50 assists, just one shy of a season-high for a four-setter. Lieberman also passed the 1,000-assists plateau for the season.
Emily Ellis led the match with 15 kills and posted a .444 hitting percentage, while tying for the lead with four blocks.
Emma Funk had 11 kills and also tied for the lead with four blocked shots, while hitting .409 in the process.
Trinity wraps up its regular-season campaign over the weekend at a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Divisional in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Tigers take on Austin (TX) College and the host Centenary (LA) College on Saturday.