Trolls Start Season with Home Tournament

The Trolls began their 2018 campaign by hosting the Saint Xavier/Trinity Crossover. Trinity played four matches, including two against preseason ranked opponents, in the two-day event and came away with a 2-2 record. On Friday they posted two victories with wins over Bethel College (Mishawaka, Indiana) and No. 16 Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, Michigan). The results were reversed the next day with loses to No. 11 Midland University (Fremont, Nebraska) and to Mount Mercy University (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).

In their season opener the Trolls defeated Bethel in three sets with scores of 25-12, 25-16, and 25-12. The Trolls hit a .347 attacking percentage and had a total of 46 kills. Anna Maatman, Kacie Stoll, and Britta Heggeland all registered double digit kills.

The Trolls, who are receiving votes in the NAIA preseason poll, needed only three sets to take down No. 16 Cornerstone in the second set of the next. With TrollNation out in full force to rally the team, the team rose to the challenge. After a 25-19 win in the first set, the Trolls came out on top of a pivotal second set that went to 26-24 before a winner was declared. Trinity then took the lead in the third set for the 25-19 win.

Saturday morning started with their toughest match as they faced No. 11 Midland. The Trolls lost the first set at 25-20, but tied the match was 25-21 win in set two. The team faltered in the third set for a 25-13 loss and did not recover in the next set as they went down 25-20. Stoll again led the team with 19 kills, 17 digs, and six blocks.

The team came out fighting in their next match with Mount Mercy and took the first set at 25-19. They had a late lead in the next set, but after ties at 23-23 and 24-24, they lost the final two points for the 26-24 loss. The third set was tied at 20-20, but the Trolls dropped the last five points for a 25-20 loss. The team never had the lead in the final set that ended in a 25-17 defeat.  In the match the team ended with eight blocks with Stoll, Heggeland, and Madysen Zula each recording four.

For the weekend Stoll posted 61 kills for a 4.36 average.Maatman had 38 kills and Ana Lambros registered 30. Dani VanLaten had a total of 147 assists for a 10.5 average.  On the defensive side Brianna Figueroa averaged 6.0 digs per game. Stoll had 14 blocks, Zula had 13, and Heggeland had 11.

The team plays next in their conference opener on September 6 at home against Governors State University.