Trolls Play in Campbellsville Invitational

Over the weekend the Trolls played in three matches in the Campbellsville University Invitational (Campbellsville, Kentucky) and came away with a 1-2 record. They opened with a five set loss to Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, Michigan) on Friday. The dropped their opening match on Saturday in three sets to Morningside College (Sioux City, Iowa), but ended the day with a five set win over Campbellsville. The team is now 8-10 for the season.
The opening match with Lawrence Tech was the second time this season Trinity lost to the Blue Devils in a five set match. The Trolls dropped the first two sets at 25-18 and 25-22. They tied the match with 25-18 and 25-18 wins in the next two sets, but could not keep the momentum going as they fell 15-9 in the final set.

After a 7-7 tie in the first set the Trolls fell behind and trailed through the remainder of the set. The second set was tight throughout and tied multiple times. At 22-22, the Trolls committed three attacking errors to give Lawrence Tech the final three points.

Trinity came back in the next two sets. Trailing 18-16 the Trolls rallied off nine points in a row to take the victory. They used that momentum to take the lead in the fourth set and pull ahead for a 25-18 win.

In the deciding set Lawrence Tech had a 6-5 lead which they increased to a 10-5 gap. Trinity slowed down the Blue Devil’s scoring, but they were not able to gain ground.

For the match the Trolls had 50 kills of which Mike Karl had 17 and Nick Costa had 11. Conor Sullivan led the team with 14 digs and Austin Tafoya had 36 assists.

The second day of action started in a match with Morningside. The Trolls were close in each of the sets, but could not find the top spot and fell in three straight sets at 25-20, 25-18, 27-25.  

In the first set the Trolls trailed by one point at 13-12, but they gave up the next three points to fall behind by four. For the rest of the set the team continued to trail by a small margin and took the 25-20 loss. The same pattern held for a large portion of the second set as the scoring gap was a handful of points. Trinity was within three at 21-18 before losing the next four points for the 25-18 loss.

The third set was a fight for both teams as the score was tied 11 times including at every point from 20 to 25. In those late set ties, Morningside gained the advantage each time and the Trolls responded to create the deadlock. The Mustangs reached set point at 24-23, but a block by Zach Fitch and Danny Lawrence tied the score. Again Morningside had set point at 25-24 only to have the Trolls hold them again on a kill by Lawrence.  The Trolls could not stop them the third time at 26-25 and Morningside finished for the win.

The Trolls ended the set with 33 kills and Morningside had 42. Trinity was big at the net with 12.5 blocks and the Mustangs had seven. Jonathan Poortinga had nine kills and six blocks, Costa ended with eight kills and seven digs.

The final match of the day was an up and down affair with Campbellsville. The teams traded wins through the first four sets to push the match into the fifth set. Trinity came from behind to take the set in extended points at 17-15.

The Trolls trailed throughout the entire first set and lost with a 25-18 final. They came back in the second set with a 25-23 win. Late in that set the score was tied at 23-23 and the Trolls closed out with two blocks for the win.

The next two sets were the most lopsided as Campbellsville cruised to a 25-15 win in the third set and the Trolls won easily at 25-8 in the fourth set.

The early part of the deciding set belonged to Campbellsville, but on six consecutive points the Trolls changed an 11-7 deficit to a 13-11 lead. From there the teams battled it out with every point crucial. Campbellsville had set point at 14-13, but Lawrence registered a kill to tie the game.  Poortinga put the ball away on the next play to give the Trolls a 15-14 lead. Each team committed errors to change the score to 16-15 and the Trolls had the final say on a block by Poortinga and Caleb Leake.

Trinity ended the match with 51 kills and Campbellsville had 56. The Trolls totaled 12. 5 blocks and the Tigers had seven. Costa ended with 17 kills and Karl had 12. Each of those players had seven digs. Poortinga finished with a total of eight blocks.

The Trolls play next on March 14 in a conference match at Calumet College of St. Joseph at 7 pm.