San Antonio - Trinity's fifth-ranked volleyball team concluded its regular season schedule with 3-1 wins over Concordia (TX) University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX) on Saturday.
Trinity started with a 25-23, 16-25, 25-18, 25-21 victory over Concordia, then completed the Trinity Texas Tournament with a 22-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-19 win over Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The Tigers rallied from a three-point deficit to take a slim lead late in the opening set with Concordia, holding on to take a 1-0 lead. Concordia came out on fire in the second set, beginning with an 11-4 run at the start, and ending with seven unanswered points to tie the match.
The third set saw Trinity race out to a 9-1 lead and the Tigers never trailed in the set. Concordia rallied to keep it close, but Trinity scored seven of the final eight points to reclaim the overall match lead.
Trinity jumped in front 18-13 to take control of the fourth, then Concordia got to within a point at 21-20 to try and force a fifth set. The Tigers finished with a 4-1 run to earn the win.
Against UMHB, Trinity stormed in front 13-6 early, but the Crusaders took eight of the next nine points to tie the score at 14-14. The teams went back and forth the rest of the way, but UMHB scored the final three points to take the opening-set victory.
After allowing two points to start the second set, the Tigers caught fire and won convincingly to tie the match 1-1. That momentum carried into the third as Trinity jumped out to an 8-1 advantage, and though UMHB came back, the lead was never less than three points the rest of the way.
Trinity was up to the challenge in the fourth set, as the Tigers were determined to clinch the match. Trinity took the first five points and never trailed in what proved to be the deciding set. The Crusaders got to within a point, but could never catch up to the Tigers.
Trinity went 3-0 at its tournament, starting Friday with a 3-1 decision over the University of Texas-Dallas. The Comets received votes in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Poll, as did Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The Tigers are on a five-match win streak, and stand at 26-6 on the season. Concordia dropped to 14-12, and Mary Hardin-Baylor is sporting a 25-3 record.
Kirby Smith hit .350 in the match with Mary Hardin-Baylor, chalking up 16 kills on 40 attempts. Smith amassed a double-double in the opener with Concordia, with 15 kills and 13 digs. She now has 1,372 kills in her career column, and stands alone in seventh place all time at Trinity.
Sarah Mullens posted 22 digs against Concordia, and 25 in the match with Mary Hardin-Baylor, upping her career total to 1,464. Mullens is 13th in Trinity's career record books. She also fired up 10 aces on the day, with five in each match.
Mullens has moved into a tie for sixth place in aces for a single season, totaling 77 so far this year. Only three players in school history have recorded 80 or more aces in a season. Mullens is also ninth in single season school history with 545 digs.
Maggi Linker hit .458 against Mary Hardin-Baylor, accounting for 12 kills on 24 attempts.
Madeline McKay posted 21 kills in the two matches, with 12 against Mary Hardin-Baylor. McKay also blocked four shots against Concordia, and five in the match with the Crusaders.
Katrina Lieberman dished out 45 assists, and had 11 digs in the second match of the day. Lieberman accounted for 36 assists in the opener with Concordia.
The Tigers are the #2 seed at next weekend's Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, and will receive a first-round bye. Trinity will play at 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening in Kerrville, Texas, facing off against either third-ranked Southwestern (TX) University or Centenary (LA) College.