/Trojans mount comeback to win conference opener

Trojans mount comeback to win conference opener

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Wally Pendergrass

Staff Writer

 

The Trojan volleyball team got back to its winning ways on Wednesday, Sept. 17, as they came from behind to beat Georgia Southern 3-1.

The Trojans came into the match on a three game losing streak but were 4-0 at home this season. The home crowd of 474 Trojan fans made their presence known as the team made a late rally in the fourth and final set.

“It’s always great to play at home,” said head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick. “The conference opener is always a special moment and getting to share that with our home fans is great.”

Troy lost the first set 25-13 and did not appear to be the same team that won the Trojan Invitational. Committing five errors as a team and only having an attack percentage of .167, the Trojans looked to be in trouble.

“They totally took us out of the game in the first set,” said Kirkpatrick. “We made couple slight adjustments but it was basically getting back to what we try to do and want to do.”

The Trojans showed their resilience, as they took the second set 25-21 to go into halftime tied 1-1. The Trojans had only three errors, 14 kills, and an attack percentage of .423 for the second set

In the third set the Trojans led most of the way and took another 25-21 victory. The fourth and deciding set was a battle.

With the score tied at 20-20, the Trojans appeared to lose a point and the Eagles were ahead 21-20. However, Kirkpatrick noticed that the Eagles had misplayed a rotation and the point should go against the Eagles.

After a lengthy discussion the officials agreed with Kirkpatrick and the point was overturned. The Trojans never looked back and won the fourth set 25-22 to take the match.

Junior outside hitter Blair Winston had 13 kills and an attack percentage of .303 to lead the Trojans. Junior libero Ali Dowdell added 20 digs for the Trojans.

“It definitely feels good to start out 1-0 in conference,” said Winston. “That was our goal. The first game was obviously not what we expected as a team but how we came back is what we expect from our team.”

The Trojans are now 9-4 and more importantly, 1-0 in conference play. They play at UT Arlington on Friday, Sept. 19, and at home against Appalachian State on Sunday, Sept. 21.