The Troy volleyball team made its home debut last weekend in the Troy Invitational, snapping a five-game losing streak to start the season.
The Trojans had to wait until Saturday to notch their first win, but closed out the Invitational 2-0 after losing 3-0 against Northwestern State on Friday. Those wins came via 3-1 decisions over Winthrop and Jackson State.
Both teams struggled to maintain an offensive presence early in the first set. It was not until late in the first that Troy went on a 5-0 run to take the lead 20-19.
Northwestern State recovered, allowing only three points for the rest of the set to take a 1-0 lead.
Troy’s offensive struggles continued for the remainder of the game, and it didn’t score over 20 points for the rest of the game, even after starting the second set on a 7-0 run. It was an impressive night for Lauren Long, who had 10 kills and 10 points for Troy despite 29 errors committed by her team. The Demons played a clean game, outlasting the short spurts of offense from Troy and committing only 11 errors.
The high number of errors for the Trojans has been a problematic trend. In their first five games, the Trojans amassed 142 total team errors. Since the start of the season, Troy’s hitting percentage has eclipsed .250 only twice when committing 22 or more errors in the same game.
That trend ended when Troy settled in for its second game of the invitational on Saturday against Winthrop (3-5).
In arguably Troy’s cleanest game, sophomore Belle Waldrop exploded for 14 total kills. As a team, the Trojans posted a season-high .283 hitting percentage fueled by Logan Page’s .533 percentage.
Winthrop dominated early in the second set after losing the first by just two points, 25-23. The Eagles started on a 7-0 run and didn’t look back, clinching the second set 25-20.
After evening the score to one a piece, the Trojans dominated the third and fourth sets to defeat Winthrop 3-1 and pick up their first win of the season.
Rounding out the double header was a match against Jackson State. Although the Tigers stole the first set 25-23, Troy seemed confident in its ability to control the match.
A season high 9-0 run by Troy helped dominate the second set 25-12.
Jackson State lost all momentum in the third and fourth set despite solid play, losing 25-21 and 25-23, respectively. The final score was 3-1.
It was a huge weekend for Troy’s Savannah Moore, the tournament MVP. Moore had a total of 30 kills, seven blocks and three aces. Troy is 2-0 in games when Moore contributes 12 or more kills. Also solidifying the dominant weekend was Long, the most consistent with nine or more kills in each game.
The Trojans got a break from tournament play on Tuesday night in a standalone match against the UAB Blazers. In that game, Troy was able to close out a win in a five-set nail-biter.
The first set saw UAB jump out to a 7-2 lead. It was eventually closed out by the Blazers 25-21 due to an untimely error by Troy.
The second set was more of an even match as Troy settled in. The even point scoring came back to help Troy win the set 25-21.
The Trojans dominated the fourth set, and when the fifth rolled around, it was all business for the Trojans on their way to take a 7-2 lead. This was all Troy needed to put the Blazers away 3-2, handing them their sixth loss.
Troy had four players get double-digit kills, including sophomore transfer Jenni Young with 10. Moore led the game with 12 kills. Long and Cheyenne Hayes combined for 73 attacks as the Trojans kept hammering the Blazer defense.
The Trojans will travel to Morehead, Kentucky, this weekend to take part in the Morehead State Comfort Inn-vitational on Sept. 8.