Trolls Battle with Cardinal Stritch
The second round of conference action started with a home contest against Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), a team receiving notes in the NAIA poll. It was a close match as no more than two points separated the teams in the final score of three of the four sets. Trinity lost the first set at 25-21 and dropped the second on 25-23. They came back with a victory in the third set at 25-23 to push the match to a fourth set. That set went down to the wire until the Trolls lost at 25-23. The team is now 7-7 overall and 1-5 in the CCAC.
In the first set the score was tied at 10-10, but Cardinal Stritch gained the advantage with the next three points. The Trolls pulled to within one point late in the set, but could not completely erase the gap. In the end they lost at 25-21.
The second set was tight throughout and the teams were within a few points of each other at all times. The Trolls change a 20-16 deficit to a 20-20 tie with four straight points behind a kill and two blocks. The teams were still deadlocked at 22-22, but the Wolves came out on top at 25-23.
Trinity came on strong in the third set with a .389 attacking percentage. As a result they led throughout the set until a 19-19 tie. Ties at 21-21, 22-22, and 23-23 followed. A block by Kendall Toren gave the Trolls set point and they took the win on a kill by Mike Karl.
In the fourth set the score was tied 10 times with the final deadlock at 21-21. Three errors in a row by the Trolls allowed the Wolves to reach set point. The Trolls held them for one point to make it 24-23, but Cardinal Stritch gained the next point to end the match.
The Trolls had 54 kills for the match and Cardinal Stritch had 51. Trinity hit .219 percent and the Wolves were at .244 percent. The Trolls recorded 14 blocks and had 38 digs. Nick Costa led the team with 18 kills while Karl had 11 and Jonathan Poortinga had 10. Poortinga and Karl were both involved in five blocks and Danny Lawrence had four. Austin Tafoya ended the set with 11 digs to go along with 28 assists.
Trinity will play again on Friday, March 3, at home against Graceland University.