Trolls Start Clarke Invite with Two Wins

The Trolls move above the .500 mark for the season with two wins in the first day of the Clarke University Invitational (Dubuque, Iowa).  The team opened the day with a four-set win over Clarke with scores of 30-28, 25-19, 19-25, and 25-19. In their second match they lost the first set, but came back strong to win the next three sets against Avila University. The scores were 18-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-7. The Trolls have won their last six matches and are 6-5 for the season.

In their opening set against the host school, the first set was the toughest and went to extra points. The set was tight the entire time and the teams battled back and forth. At the end of the set each time that a team would reach set point, the other team would answer back to keep things alive. The Trolls were the final victors as they scored the last two points.

In the second set the teams were tied at 16-16 before Trinity went on a four point run to take a 20-16 lead. From there they finished out for the win.  The third set followed the same pattern as the teams were tied at 16-16 and again at 17-17. This time it was Clarke that surge ahead with the next three points and they held off the Trolls for the win.

The Trolls made a decisive statement at the beginning of the fourth set and went ahead 15-7. From there they held their sizable lead and took the six-point win.

Trinity had a total of 60 kills for the match with a .224 attacking percentage. Kacie Stoll led the Trolls with 17 kills, Danielle Oeverman had 13, Lydia Smits had 12, and Anna Maatman had 11. Smits also added three aces, three blocks, and 14 digs. Brianna Figueroa led the digs with 19 while Dani VanLaten had 18 to go with her 47 assists.

The Trolls had a slow start in their match against Avila, but their hitting percentage and margin of victory got better with each set. They faltered in the first set and lost 25-18. They recovered in the second set and gained a slight lead. Late in the set they created more of gap and behind two ace serves and two kills they finished out with the final four points for the 25-18 win.

Once the Trolls had the advantage they ran with it. In the third set they stretched a 14-10 lead to an 18-10 lead and did not allow Avila to gain ground. The Trolls continued to roll and held Avila to only seven points.

Overall the team ended with 48 kills for the match with a .290 attacking percentage.  The attack was spread out with Stoll leading the team with 12, Smits posting 10, Maatman getting nine, and Oeverman with eight. The team recorded 12 blocks with both middle blockers, Oeverman and Christa Veenstra, each recording five. Figueroa ended with 23 digs and VanLaten had 13. VanLaten also had 42 assists.

The Trolls continue play in the invitational on Saturday with a 10 am match against Northwestern College and a 12 pm match with Mt. Mercy University.