San Antonio – Trinity's 10th-ranked volleyball team won two matches to close out the weekend Fall Classic Tournament on Saturday.
Trinity began the day with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17) win against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX).
The opening set featured six ties early on, but the Tigers broke an 8-8 tie with four straight points to take the lead for good. Mary Hardin-Baylor got no closer than three points the rest of the way, though Trinity never led by more than six points as the visitors kept the score close.
Mary Hardin-Baylor came out on fire in the second set, scoring six of the first seven points, but the Tigers put together an extended streak of their own with 13 consecutive points to take a 14-6 lead. The teams pretty much traded points the rest of the way with Trinity holding off a late Crusader rally to take a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers jumped in front early in the third with a 5-1 lead, but Mary Hardin-Baylor rallied with by scoring seven of the next eight points to give them their first lead of the set. That lead ballooned as high as 19-13 for the visitors, and even through Trinity rallied to within one on three different occasions, UMHB held on for the narrow win.
Neither team led by more than two points in the fourth set until Trinity rattled off a 5-1 scoring run to make it a 14-11 advantage. The Crusaders nabbed the next two points to close to within one, but the Tigers answered with three straight points to take a 17-13 lead. UMHB broke the streak after a timeout, but Trinity then five in a row to take control for good and finish off the win.
The Tigers finished the day with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-12) sweep over Rowan (NJ) University and ended the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record.
Trinity edged out to an 8-4 lead early in the opening set, but Rowan stayed close over the next few points. The Tigers put together a 9-2 run to take a 19-10 lead, then traded points down the stretch to earn the 1-0 match lead.
The second set featured another quick start for the Tigers, who scored the first five points and led the entire way. Rowan was down by as many as seven points early on, but whittled that deficit to just four midway through the set. Trinity then put the game away with an 8-2 run that included six straight points, resulting in a 22-12 lead, and eventually, a 2-0 match advantage.
Rowan started the third set with two quick points to nab its biggest lead of the match, but Trinity quickly battled back with four straight points to erase that lead. The set was tied three times early on, but the Tigers erased the last tie with 13 unanswered points to make it an 18-5 lead that effectively ended the match.
Trinity improves to 20-4 on the year with its fifth and sixth consecutive wins. The Tigers are now 11-3 in the series against UMHB, which now includes eight consecutive wins and a 10-0 home record. Today marked just the second meeting with Rowan and both ended up with 3-0 Trinity wins.
Emily Ellis was named the tournament MVP after finishing the day with 14 kills in the opening match and 11 more in the tournament finale, as well as tallying nine total blocks in the two wins. She hit better than .400 in each match, including a .688 percentage to finish the weekend.
Lexie Acevedo was also named to the All-Tournament Team, recording 44 total assists that included a career-high 29 against Mary Hardin-Baylor earlier in the day. It also marked her 10th career match with 20 or more assists – nine of which have come this season.
Sara Flynn was the final Tiger to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team, finishing the weekend with 12 total kills and four blocks in the two wins.
Annie Rose Leggett led the Tigers with 19 digs in the finale, which was preceded by a career-high 27 digs against UMHB. Leggett has posted double-digit digs in 17 consecutive matches.
Sami Lin also scored a career-best 27 digs to tie Leggett for the team lead against Mary Hardin-Baylor, marking her fourth time this season to nab 20 or more digs.
Avery Tuggle had 19 total digs and 15 total kills on the day, while Marisa Amarino had a combined 21 assists and 14 digs in the two matches. Amarino also led the team with six total aces, including four in the match against Rowan.
The Tigers will resume conference play by hosting the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Divisional Tournament next weekend. Trinity begins the weekend against Johnson & Wales (CO) University at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, October 18, followed by a matchup against Austin (TX) College at 6:00 p.m.