Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College Bantams scored four of the final five points of the match to earn a thrilling, 15-13, win in the deciding fifth set and a 3-2, comeback victory over the visiting Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors in front of a loud and enthusiastic crowd on the opening night of the Trinity College Volleyball Invitational at Oosting Gymnasium this evening. Trinity, which snaps a two-game losing skid against the Warriors, will complete the annual two-day event with a noon match against Clark and a 4 p.m. tilt against Westfield State tomorrow afternoon. Eastern Connecticut starts things off tomorrow against Clark at 10 a.m. and faces Westfield State at 2 p.m. Clark edged Westfield State in the invitational opener today, 3-2. The Bantams are now 1-1 and Eastern Connecticut is 3-2. Clark is 3-1 and the Owls are 0-5 entering tomorrow's action.
The match was knotted up at 2-2, and the Warriors kept the momentum in the fifth set after a 25-21 win in the fourth. Eastern Connecticut scored four points in a row to take a 10-5 lead, but Trinity junior L Ali Odermann (Lenexa, Kansas) served up aces on two of four-straight Trinity points moments later to make the score, 11-10. The Bantams rattled off four more in a row late, including two on kills by senior OH Rachel Underwood (Danville, Calif.) to turn a 12-10 deficit into a 14-12 lead, and junior Wyllie Boughton (Andover, Mass.) clinched it with a kill that bounced off a Warrior back over to the Bantam side but just out of bounds.
Eastern Connecticut took the first set, going ahead, 5-0, early and holding on for a 25-21 win. Warrior freshman Anna Barry (Andover, Conn.) came out strong with three kills among those first five points. The Bantams rallied to win the next two, 25-18, and, 25-17, respectively, but the visitors forced the tiebreaker by pulling away late in the fourth set.
Underwood finished with a match-high 17 kills to go with three aces and 16 digs, while classmate Hanna Engstrom (Hopkinton, Mass.) and junior Colette Scheffers (Flossmoor, Ill.) added 15 kills apiece, and Scheffers matched Underwood with three aces and 16 digs of her own. Trinity sophomore S Jessica Yang (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) collected 48 assists, four kills, and four blocks, while Odermann had a match-best 23 digs, and Boughton registered eight kills, three aces, and four blocks.
Barry paced the Warriors with 15 kills, while sophomore Abby Stern (Manchester, Conn.) had 11. Junior tri-captain Mckenzie Maneggia (Andover, Conn.) notched 21 assists, while rookie Madison Bell (Salem, Conn.) had 21 digs, and senior tri-captain Jackie Orlowski (Woodstock, Conn.) and Caryn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) came up with five blocks apiece for Eastern Connecticut.
Clark won the second and fourth sets against the Owls by respective scores of 25-15 and 25-21, and clinched the match with a 15-9 win in the fifth set. Westfield State won the first and third sets against the Owls by identical 26-24 scores. Ana Patricia Mercado made 27 kills for the Cougars and Brianna Starkey had 20 kills for the Owls.