Trolls Fall in Five Set Battle in Championship Match

The CCAC Volleyball Tournament Championship match between the No. 2 Trolls and No. 1 Saint Xavier University (Chicago, Illinois) went to five sets before a winner was declared.  The final score of the first four sets was 25-21 with Trinity winning the first and fourth sets and the Cougars getting the middle two. In the fifth deciding set Trinity fell behind and ended with a 15-11 loss.

The Trolls took the lead in the first set and on a couple of short scoring runs went ahead 9-4. Except for a couple a brief ties midway through the set the Trolls maintain their lead. The team was ahead by as many as five at 22-17, but the Cougars threatened and were within two at 23-21. A kill by Madysen Zula gave the Trolls set point and they finished with a block by Zula and Kacie Stoll.

No more than a couple of points separated teams through the first part of the second set. With a 15-15 tie, the Cougars scored the next three points and did not give the lead up. Trinity was within two points at 22-20, but scored only one more point for the 25-21 loss.

Saint Xavier took the advantage in the match with a win in the third set. They jumped out to a 7-3 lead, but the Trolls went on a run to tie the set at 8-8. The Cougars regained the top spot and remained ahead by a few points through the rest of the set.

Trinity fought back and started the fourth set with a 10-5 lead. The Trolls stayed in command of the scoreboard and tied the match again with the win.

After a back and forth first few points it fifth set, Saint Xavier had a four point run to take a 6-2 lead. The Trolls closed the gap to within two points at 9-7, but the Cougars scored the next two to make a four point difference again.  Trinity was not able to make up that difference and ended with the four point loss.

For the match the Trolls had 55 kills on a .188 attacking percentage and Saint Xavier had 68 kills with a .216 attacking percentage. Trinity ended with 10.5 blocks and the Cougars had 12. Stoll and Sarah Kiwan each had 15 kills. Stoll was also involved in five blocks while Zula led that category with nine. Dani Van Laten had 44 assists and 19 digs. Also in the dig category was Brianna Figueroa with 28 and Maggie Tolsma with 20.

As the conference tournament runners-up, the Trolls receive an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.  The team will wait find out who and where they play on November 12. The 44-tournament field and pairings will be announced in the NAIA Selection Show at 10 am on Monday at Facebook.com/PlayNAIA.