The Troy volleyball team struggled on the road, losing four matches in two days in the Maroon Classic hosted by Mississippi State, Sept. 16-17.
During that stretch, however, the Trojans lost 10 of the 14 sets they played in by five points or fewer. The Trojans were led by senior right side Sara Landis, who totaled 37 kills in those four matches.
Troy’s first game of the tournament was against Portland, which played the Trojans to a thrilling 2-3 final score. Troy won the first and third sets by scores of 25-23 and 25-22, respectively, but lost the other three sets by 21-25 in the second, 23-25 in the fourth and 8-15 in the fifth.
Junior defensive specialist Reina Terry recorded her fifth double-double of the season to lead the Trojans against the Pilots, supplying 43 assists and 10 digs to Troy’s efforts. She was backed by Landis, who played an eight-kill, two-block game.
Sophomore setter Alisha Hinrichs also set a career-record 30 digs against Portland.
The competition didn’t get any easier for Troy in its next game as it faced off against Mississippi State. The Trojans were held to a .026 hit percentage compared to the Bulldogs’ .287.
MSU bested Troy in every major category, including winning the kills battle 40-24. Despite consistent effort from the Trojans, Mississippi State won the match with scores of 17-25, 19-25 and 15-25.
The next day of play proved to be just as winless as the previous as Troy dropped back-to-back matches that ended in 3-0 sweeps by the Trojans’ opponents. The first of those matches was against Eastern Illinois, which battled back and forth with Troy in a game that felt much closer than what the final score indicated.
After falling behind 1-0 after a 22-25 loss in the first set, Troy tried to bounce back late in the second set. With the score tied at 21, the Panthers outscored Troy 4-2 to take a commanding lead.
The third and final set was also close, but once again Eastern Illinois came away with a narrow victory with a 26-24 win in the last set.
The Panthers’ defense was what gave the Trojans trouble in the match as it recorded 14 blocks and limited itself to 15 errors. Troy had 28.
After three straight close losses, the Trojans were thwarted in yet another 3-0 match, this time against Florida International, in a match that was a lot closer than it looked in the final box score.
After a pair of 23-25 losses in the first two sets, it seemed that Troy just didn’t have enough to close out a set and pull out a win.
The third set of the match was as evenly matched as any before, with 14 ties and eight lead changes in that set alone. Freshman middle hitter Logan Page led the Trojans with four kills in the third set to make things close, but FIU scored the final six points of the match to hold off Troy.
The Trojans will look to snap their five-game losing streak when they return to Trojan Arena on Friday, Sept. 23, for their conference opener against Texas State. Start time is 6 p.m.