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Big Block Total Not Enough for No. 2 Volleyball Against No. 1 Athenas

Big Block Total Not Enough for No. 2 Volleyball Against No. 1 Athenas

ATLANTA - No. 2 Trinity University Volleyball dropped its final match of the 2022 East*West Classic Saturday afternoon against No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (CA) in a battle for early Region 10 supremacy,

The Tigers (5-2) returned to its strong presence in the middle with 17 total blocks in the match, tied for the ninth-most in program history and the most since the 2011 campaign. Middle blockers senior Emily Ellis (Georgetown, Texas / Georgetown) and junior Maddie Fate (New York, N.Y. / Croton on Hudson) combined to have at least a share of 15 of those blocks as Ellis came one shy of her career-high at eight while Fate tied her career-high of seven.

Senior rightside Sara Flynn (Seattle, Wash. / Roosevelt) led the attack with 12 kills on a .478 hitting clip. Despite the torrid clip from the opposite pin, the Tigers combined to hit at just .107 for the match.

Three Tigers landed in double-figures for digs, led Saturday's starting libero, first-year Jenna Rodriguez (San Antonio, Texas / Reagan), with an early career-high of 14 digs followed by 11 from fellow rookie outside hitter Reagan Whatley (The Woodlands, Texas / The Woodlands) and 10 from senior setter Marisa Amarino (Calabasas, Calif. / Notre Dame).

No. 2 Trinity Volleyball returns to San Antonio September 16 for the 2022 Trinity Fall Classic, with the Tigers set to battle No. 4 Juniata College (PA) in the Friday night matchup for the seventh-straight contest against a nationally-ranked opponent.

The Rundown

The Tigers yet again laid claim to the first set, having done so in all but one match thus far in 2022, on a 25-22 mark. An early four-point advantage at 9-5 was powered by a pair of kills from senior rightside Sarah Williammee (Denver, Colo. / East) and capped with a combo block from Fate and Whatley. A second four-point margin appeared at 20-16 after a 6-1 run featured a trio of kills from Flynn. A trio of kills in the final four Trinity points, including the third and fourth of the first set from Whatley, iced the opening frame.

Trinity got out to an early advantage again in the second though neither team had a margin of more than two points in the heart of the set. Three attack errors from the Athenas' Jenna Holmes gave the Tigers the early advantage but three kills from Holmes finished the set to post the 25-20 tally in favor of Claremont. The pendulum returned to center in the third as Trinity and CMS tied 19 times including at each of the first eight points and from 19-19 through 24-24. The Tigers held set point in the third, 24-23, but the Athenas regrouped with a timeout to rattle off three straight points to take a two sets to one advantage into the fourth: the third time Trinity found itself in this position on the weekend.

Another hot start fizzled in the fourth as the Tigers held their largest advantage at 10-7 aided by four of Trinity's 17 total blocks on the day, including three of Ellis's eight blocks. Momentum shifted slowly through the middle of the final frame as the three point margin swung back to the Athenas at 20-17 and rose the eventual 25-20 final.

East*West Classic All-Tournament

Flynn was named to the 2022 All-East*West Classic squad Saturday night upon conclusion of this weekend's action. In three matches, Flynn amassed 27 kills on a .308 hitting percentage including the 12 successful strikes against the Athenas Saturday morning along with three blocks.

Up Next

No. 2 Trinity Volleyball hosts the 2022 Trinity Fall Classic next weekend, featuring No. 4 Juniata, University of La Verne (CA), University of Scranton (PA), No. 22 Southwestern University and Texas Lutheran University. The weekend's events begin at 10 a.m. CT while the Tigers make their debut in the Fall Classic in the evening slot against the fourth-ranked Eagles to conlude a streak of seven straight matches against nationally-ranked teams.

The 2022 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season opens the following weekend in Shreveport, Louisiana on the campus of Centenary College. Trinity will face Austin College, the host Ladies and University of Dallas September 24-25.