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Trojan volleyball snaps five-game losing streak

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Hanna Cooper

Staff Writer

After a tough weekend in Clemson, South Carolina, the volleyball team returned to Trojan Arena for the second annual Troy Classic tournament. 

For the third Friday night in a row, Troy opened the tournament with a five-set match, but this time it fell to Kennesaw State.

Troy (5-7, 0-0 Sun Belt) dominated the first set with a 25-12 win, but came up short in the second set, falling 25-18. The Trojans would pick up a third-set win, but drop the fourth set, sending the match to five. In the last set, Troy would string together an early four-point run. The Owls responded with a five-point streak that Troy would not be able to battle back from. Troy dropped the deciding set 15-7.

“Great volleyball in Trojan Arena tonight,” said Head Coach Josh Lauer. “We ran into an eventual top 50 team in Kennesaw State, and they just came off playing one of the top teams in the country last weekend. 

“I think our team had a chance to choose their identity tonight — I thought they chose to battle and get after it.”

Lauer also tipped his hat to freshman setter Amara Anderson, who recorded another double- double with 40 assists and 12 digs. Halston Hillier performed well in her third career start, posting seven kills and a .300 hitting percentage. 

Following the Friday night loss, Troy dropped an early morning match to Florida A&M. Florida A&M, a previously winless team in the 2018 season, took the opening two sets against the Trojans by just a few points (23-25 and 22-25). 

Troy came into the match ranked 36th nationally with 1.63 aces per match, but committed 16 service errors, which allowed the Rattlers to take away the first two sets. 

Troy rebounded well with a 25-20 win in the third set, but again fell by a few in the fourth set with a score of 25-23. Troy’s losing streak extended to five straight matches after the loss to FAMU.

In the final match of the Troy Classic, Troy took on an in-state rival, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Troy jumped out with two quick wins in the first two sets of the match (25-19 and 25-22). 

The Gamecocks refused to be defeated easily and would storm the floor for third- and fourth-set wins to push the game into five sets. The deciding set was an exciting one, with the score being tied nine times and the lead changing three times. 

The teams went back and forth with each other until the Trojans went on a four-point run to close out the set 15-11 and break their five-game losing streak.

On Friday, Troy will travel to Jonesboro, Arkansas, to take on Arkansas State for the first conference match of the season.