Trolls Get Two Victories on Day One

The No. 4 seeded Trolls posted two wins in the opening day of the NCCAA National Championship at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Florida. They started their pool play with a four set victory over No. 5 Warner University (Lake Wales, Florida). In their next match they took down No. 8 Bluefield University (Bluefield, Virginia) in three sets. The Trolls play one more match in their pool play tomorrow morning and then will move on to the semifinal rounds.

In the opening match with Warner Trinity took the first set at 25-16, lost the second one 25-18, came from behind with a pivotal 28-26 win in the third set, and finished the match at 25-17 in set four.

Trinity came out swinging in the first set and behind five kills jumped to a 6-0 lead. Warner fought back and eventually tied the set at 10-10, but the Trolls used their .324 attacking percentage for the set to push ahead and take the 25-16 win.

Warner tightened up their defense and was more of presence at the net in the second set to create some problems for the Trolls. They fell behind at 14-9, still trailed a 22-13, and ended in the 25-18 loss.

The Trolls also trailed through a large portion of the third set and were down by as many as five points. The team continued to fight and on a kill by Danielle Oeverman tied the set at 22-22. The teams were deadlocked at each point after that until 26-26. A block by Christa Veenstra and Kacie Stoll put the Trolls at set point and they got the victory on an attacking error by Warner.

Once they had that momentum they used it in the fourth set where they took control of the top spot. They built a 13-8 lead that increased to 21-13 before cruising to a 25-17 win.

For the match the Trolls had 61 kills with a .211 attacking percentage and Warner had 48 kills with a .145 percentage. Trinity had 85 digs and 10 blocks for the game. Stoll led the team with 20 kills with a .357 attacking percentage and five blocks. Tina Massey added 13 kills and Rachel Verhage had 11. Veenstra was big at the net with seven blocks. Michelle Busscher led the defensive with 32 digs. Tori Mantel had 43 assists, two aces, and 17 digs.

Against Bluefield Trinity won the first two sets at 25-17 and 25-17 and then secured the match with a 25-8 win in the third set.  The first set was tight in the early stages and tied at 9-9 before the Trolls started to pull away.  In the second half of the set added points a few at a time for the eight-point win.

Trinity took the lead in the second set and held it throughout. With a 19-15 lead they scored the next three points to go ahead at 22-15. After giving up two points they finished out on two kills by Oeverman and an ace serve by Massey.

The third set belonged completely to the Trolls as they allowed only eight points. With a 3-2 lead they rallied off eight points for an 11-2 advantage.  From there they rolled to a 25-8 victory.

The Trolls ended with 43 kills for the match with a .284 attacking percentage. They also had 61 digs, eight aces, and seven blocks. Stoll led the team with 10 kills and four blocks. Oeverman had nine kills with a .600 attacking percentage and had five blocks. Verhage added seven kills and 14 digs. Busscher had 20 digs and three aces and Mantel recorded 38 assists and eight digs.

The Trolls will continue pool play on Friday with a match against No. 1 Colorado Christian University at 10 am EST. The semifinal matches are scheduled for 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm.