Trolls Win Three Matches in Grand View Tournament

The Trolls came out on top of tough competition at the Grand View University Tournament in DesMoines, Iowa. Facing two Top 25 NAIA teams in their three matches, the team posted three victories. On Friday they beat the ranked teams of Bellevue University (Bellevue, Nebraska) and University of St. Francis (Fort Wayne, Indiana).  Saturday’s match was three set win over MidAmerica Nazarene University (Olathe, Kansas). With the victories the team has won their last nine matches and is 19-6 for the season.

The Trolls started tournament play against No. 20 Bellevue and defeated this nationally ranked team in four sets with scores of 25-17, 25-21, 19-25, and 25-22.

A strong start to the first set with the Bruins gave the Trolls a 9-1 lead. Bellevue got as close as two points midway through the set, but the Trolls held them off and built their lead again to end in the eight point win. The Trolls trailed through a large portion of the second set and were down at 20-16. With Kacie Stoll at the service line the team rallied off seven points to take a 23-20 lead. Three of those points were earned when Trinity denied Bellevue at the net with three consecutive blocks. The Trolls went on to finish the set at 25-21.

In the third set the Trolls fell behind and this time could not overcome the deficit. They were within two points at 21-19, but did not score again in the set. The fourth set was close and the teams were tied at 21-21. The Trolls scored the next three points to reach match point. They gave up one point before ending the set and the match on a kill by Stoll.

For the match Trinity had 51 kills and Bellevue had 47. Stoll ended with 15 kills and Anna Maatman had 11. Christa Veenstra had eight blocks and Brianna Figueroa had 33 digs. Dani Van Laten ended with 44 assists.

The Trolls backed-up their win over a ranked opponent with another victory over University of St. Francis (Fort Wayne, Indiana), No. 18 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll.  Trinity took down the Cougars in three sets.

The Trolls trailed in the first set at 15-10, but only let the Cougars score one more point. Behind three kills and two aces, the Trolls closed the gap and tied the score at 15-15. After a 16-16 tie, Trinity rallied off the next nine points with Maggie Tolsma on the service line.

In the second set Trinity took the early lead and maintained the top spot throughout the set. St. Francis was within one point at 17-16, but the Trolls pulled away for the 25-18 win. Trinity trailed 15-11 in set three, but turned things around with six straight points to take a 17-15 lead.  The score was tied twice after that, but at 19-19 Trinity scored six points to the Cougars’ one and finished with the win on an ace by Tolsma.

For the match the Trolls had 42 kills and St. Francis had 34. Anna Maatman led the Trolls with 16 kills. Van Laten had 31 assists and Figueroa led the team with 11 digs.  

The Trolls made it a perfect weekend with a three-set win over MidAmerica Nazarene on Saturday. The team took the first set at 25-14 and then fought for wins at 25-22 and 25-20 in the next two sets.

In the first set the Trolls pulled away from MidAmerica Nazarene to build a 20-9 lead. The team went up 22-14 and scored the final three points for the win.  The second set was much closer and for a good portion of the set the Trolls trailed the Pioneers. Behind a 21-17, Trinity rallied off the next five points to take a 22-21 lead. Ahead at 23-22 the Trolls finished the set on two kills by Stoll.

In the third set the Trolls held the slight advantage and midway through the set had five point edge. They maintained that gap throughout the rest of the set for the 25-20 win.

For the match the team had 37 kills with a .337 attacking percentage. Stoll was the leader with 13 kills and four blocks. Madysen Zula had seven blocks. Figueroa ended with 14 digs and Van Laten had 32 assists.

The team returns to conference action on October 16 at Indiana University-South Bend.