Trolls Fight in Olivet Nazarene Invite

The Trolls started play in the highly competitive Olivet Nazarene University Holiday Inn Express Invitational. The four matches on the slate for the team include two nationally ranked teams and another receiving votes in the NAIA poll.  In their first two matches the Trolls upset No. 18 Georgetown College (Georgetown, Kentucky) in four sets and then dropped a long, tough five set battle with Taylor University (Upland, Indiana).

The Trolls started the tournament facing #18 Georgetown and handed the Tigers their second loss of the season. The match went to four sets and the Trolls’ only loss was an extended point set. The scores were 25-18, 31-33, 25-17, and 25-19.

Trinity gained the advantage in the match when they grabbed the first set. They pulled away in the latter part of the set for the 25-18 win.  In the second set Georgetown reached set point at 24-21, but the Trolls held them and took the lead at 25-24. From there the score went back and forth as neither team could get the winner. With a 31-31 tie, Georgetown went ahead on a Trinity error and then took the set at 33-31 on a kill.

The Trolls quickly recovered and held the lead spot throughout the third set. They kept the Tigers at a distance and finished with the 25-17 win. A 9-4 lead at the start of the fourth set forced Georgetown to play from behind for the rest of the set. Trinity did not allow them back in and finished with a 25-19 win.

Trinity ended the match with 57 kills and a .232 attack percentage. Kacie Stoll and Christa Veenstra each had 13 kills and Britta Heggeland had 10. At the net the Trolls also recorded 12 blocks. Heggeland had nine and Stoll had six. Defensively five players were in double-digits in digs with Brianna Figueroa leading the team with 28. Dani Van Laten finished the set with 46 assists and Anna Maatman led the team with four aces.

After upsetting Georgetown, the Trolls immediately took on Taylor University. It was a very tough fight as the teams went back and forth through five sets. Trinity lost the first two at 29-27 and 25-19. They kept the set alive with wins in the next two set at 25-20 and 26-24. The comeback ended in the fifth set with a 15-12 loss.

Trinity trailed during the first set until a four point run tied the score at 17-17. Taylor regained the lead and went back ahead by four points at 23-19, only to have the Trolls take over at 24-23. The teams went back and forth until two kills by Taylor ended the set at 29-27. The Trolls trailed throughout the second set and were not able to make up the difference as they lost at 25-19 to fall behind by two sets.

The team was down, but not out and fought back in the third set. They went on a 10-to-2 run late in the set to post a 21-18 lead.  From there they stayed on top for a 25-20 win. The fourth set continued to be a fight with the each team taking the top spot at times. A kill by Maatman tied the set at 24-24. The Trolls took the lead on a Maatman and Heggeland block and got the win when Stoll put the ball away.

The deciding set belonged to either team with only a point or two separating the sides. Taylor gained the slight edge at 12-10 and while the Trolls pulled to within one, they could not get ahead and ended with the 15-12 loss.

The team ended with 61 kills and a .134 attacking percentage. Four players reached double-digit in the kill column with Stoll leading the team with 18. She also had five blocks. Heggeland led the blocks with six. Figueroa had 29 digs for the match and Ana Lambros and Stoll each had 22. Van Laten ended with 53 assists.

In the second day of the tournament the Trolls will face Columbia College at 9 am and Campbellsville University 1 pm.