The Troy Volleyball team wrapped up the opening weekend of the 2018 season, finishing the Troy Invitational with a 2-1 record, the best start for the program since the 2014 season.
Troy cruised past Southern (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) on Friday before splitting Saturday’s pair of games. The Trojans fell to Southeast Missouri State 3-0, allowing the undefeated RedHawks to take home the crown.
Troy opened the 2018 campaign against Southern, marking the first home opener for the Trojans since 2006. Troy swept the Jaguars 3-0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-13) in Trojan Arena on Friday night.
“It was really nice to get the first win under our belt,” said Head Coach Josh Lauer. “It was fun to see our kids come out and be focused.
“We get to enjoy this win for a short time. There are definitely more good things to come.”
Troy found rhythm in the latter half of the first set, scoring 12 of the final 13 points to take the 1-0 advantage. The Trojans saw a similar outcome in the following set, running away with the set after scoring 17 quick points.
Sophomore Cheyanne Hayes led the charge in the third set. The outside hitter tallied four aces and had a hand in seven points for the Trojans, sealing the sweep with the 25-13 win.
In the top half of Saturday’s doubleheader, Troy was swept by the eventual champions of the invite, falling to Southeast Missouri State 3-0.
Troy managed to stay within striking distance but struggled to pull ahead, falling to the RedHawks 19-25, 17-25, 20-25.
The RedHawks made play difficult at the net for Troy, totaling 15 blocks in set one. Junior right-side hitter Jenni Young kept Troy in the fight late, picking up a team-high 11 kills.
Sets two and three followed much of the same trend as before. Troy kept things close in both sets before a late scoring run from Southeast Missouri State put ice on the match.
Following the loss earlier in the day, Troy bounced back to sweep Southeastern Louisiana. Hayes once again led the Trojans in the first set, picking up 13 kills to lead both squads. The Trojans never trailed by more than one point in the final two sets, allowing Troy to complete the sweep as the runner-up in the invitational.
“I thought it was a good opening weekend,” said Head Coach Josh Lauer. “Obviously last night we came out with a lot of passion and energy.”
“This morning we hit a little road bump against Southeast Missouri and didn’t execute as well. I’m proud of our poise after that loss. Our team knows that we have to get back in the gym and improve on some things in order for us to build some things up before next weekend.”
Troy now looks ahead to Friday, Aug. 31 where they will take part in Middle Tennessee’s Blue Raider Bash Invitational. The Trojans are set to play Stetson on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by Middle Tennessee and Austin Peay on Saturday.