Bulldogs top ER to advance

Stephanie King

With a spot in the conference tournament semifinals on the line, the Trinity Bulldogs hosted the Eastern Randolph Wildcats in volleyball action on Monday. Trinity came in as the number four seed in the tournament, while the Wildcats came in as the fifth seed.

Eastern Randolph jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first set, but Trinity would tie the set at 2 all in no time. This one stayed close as neither team could build a big enough lead for breathing room. The largest lead of the set for either team was three points. After falling behind by a couple points, the Wildcats tied the set at 8 all and then again at 11 all. They would take a 15-12 lead before the Bulldogs fought their back and took a 16-15 lead. Trinity would relinquish the lead, but a block by Allie Mathai would tie the set at 19 all. The Bulldogs eventually took a 24-21 lead, but allowed the Wildcats to battle back and take the set 26-24.

Trinity responded and took an early 3-0 lead at the start of the second set. The Bulldogs would stay in front for most of the set. A tip by Taelyn Johnson cut the lead to 8-6 for the Wildcats and that would be also close as they could get until late in the set. Trinity extended their lead and before long had a bit of breathing room. A serving error by the Wildcats gave Trinity an 18-11 lead for their largest lead of the set. Eastern Randolph went on a small run to tie the set at 21 all on a kill by Kayla Long. Nyah Powers gave the Bulldogs a 22-21 lead, but Taylor Hatchett would tie the set at 22 all for the Wildcats. Trinity would close out the set with a 3-0 run for a 25-22 set win.

With the match tied at one set each, Eastern Randolph took the early lead at the start of the third set. The Wildcats led 3-1 before the Bulldogs tied the set at 3 all and then took a 4-3 lead. Eastern Randolph would not stay behind long as they tied and took the lead over Trinity. The Wildcats built a small 8-5 lead before Trinity caught back up. With the set tied at 9 all, Trinity when on a 6-0 run for a 15-9 lead over the Wildcats midway through the set. The Bulldogs continued to build on their lead and eventually took a 19-10 lead for their largest lead of the night. A serving error by the Bulldogs would cut the lead to eight for the Wildcats. Powers picked up two blocks during the Bulldogs 6-3 run to close out the set with a 25-14 win.

The Bulldogs were not going to be denied a spot in the semifinals as they jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the fourth set of play. Eastern Randolph cut the lead to five, but the Bulldogs responded by pushing the lead to 15-5. The Wildcats could not get closer than eight the rest of the way as the Bulldogs pulled away. Eastern Randolph would hit the ball into the net to give the win to the Bulldogs 25-15. Trinity won the match 3 sets to 1 and will face the top seeded Wheatmore Warriors in the semifinals on Tuesday.

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