The Trojan volleyball team picked up its eighth straight victory, defeating UL-Monroe 3-1 on Friday, Oct. 16, and UL-Lafayette 3-2 on Saturday, Oct. 17.
With the pair of victories, Troy (13-11, 6-4 Sun Belt) has now moved up to fourth in the Sun Belt conference standings.
The Trojans started out slow at ULM (12-12, 2-7 Sun Belt), losing their first set 21-25. Troy regrouped and bounced back after the first set, conquering the last three, all of them by a score of 25-20.
Junior middle hitter Leah Causey and junior middle hitter and right side Sara Landis both supported their team with 12 kills each, helping the Trojans to a .186 hitting percentage in the match and holding ULM to .118. Senior defensive specialist Ali Dowdall contributed defensively, recording 19 digs.
“ULM played really well, and we needed to up our game to compete with them,” said head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick after the game. “I’m really proud of our team for pulling together and staying confident in what we’ve been doing. Anytime you go on the road and win in the Sun Belt, it’s huge.”
The Trojans then took on UL-Lafayette (5-17, 1-9 SBC) in an intense battle, which required five sets to decide. The game went back and forth each set until the Trojans took home the victory in the fifth.
After their first set win, the Trojans allowed the Ragin’ Cajuns to get back in the game, giving up a 25-14 victory. In the third set, Troy dismantled ULL quickly by a score of 25-18 and held the Ragin’ Cajuns at a .050 attack percentage.
The Ragin’ Cajuns won the fourth set with a vengeance 27-25, but in the fifth and final set the Trojans closed the game 15-9 for the eighth win in their streak.
“We got into a good scoring and serving rotation, and we made the plays when we needed to win the first set,” Kirkpatrick said. “It was a see-saw battle. I’m proud of our team for fighting the way they did, and it was huge win for us to go 6-4 in conference.”
ULL outperformed the Trojans in scoring percentage, hitting a higher percentage of .212 to Troy’s .152. Senior outside hitter Blaire Winston led the team with 17 kills, followed by Landis with 13.
Sophomore setter Reina Terry contributed a triple-double with 10 kills, 35 assists and 13 digs, and defensively, Dowdall led with 24 digs.
The Trojans will take on Texas State as they attempt to pick up their ninth straight win, which would tie a record set in 1994. Match time at Trojan Arena is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22.