Troy volleyball rolls in Montgomery

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy volleyball team bounced back from two straight losses with a trio of 3-1 wins, but dropped a 3-2 game against UAB.

The Trojans (6-5, 0-0 Sun Belt) cruised to three wins against Savannah State, Chicago State and host Alabama State, at the ISTAP Collegiate Cup Invitational in Montgomery. They then let a 2-1 lead slip away to fall on the road to UAB on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

In the Trojans’ first matchup, which came against the hosting Hornets on Friday, the visitors dominated in nearly every category. Troy recorded a .216 hit percentage to ASU’s .045, and the Trojans hit 50 kills to the Hornets’ 40.

Troy claimed the first two sets with relative ease by scores of 25-19 and 25-14, but dropped the third 20-25. Senior right setter Sara Landis’ 13 total kills helped propel the Trojans to a win in the fourth set as the Trojans used an 8-1 run to pull away.

The next day, Troy returned to the court ready to play and claimed a 3-1 victory over Chicago State that was a closer game than it looked. The Trojans took the first two sets 25-22 and 25-16, but were unable to claim the third as the Cougars roared back for a 25-19 win.

This time it was sophomore right setter Jordyn Saulsberry who led the team in kills, putting away 13 against Chicago State. Four of those came in the fourth set, helping Troy win the set 25-18 and the match 3-1.

Just hours later, Troy repeated its success from the first two games, taking down Savannah State 3-1. After falling behind 1-0 with a 25-20 loss in the first set, Troy buckled down and ground out three straight wins by scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-23.

Landis again led the Trojans offensively, posting a career-high 18 kills to go along with four blocks. Senior middle hitter Leah Causey also played a solid game, tallying 13 kills and four blocks. Causey and Landis’ performances earned both players a spot on the all-tournament team.

Landis was named tournament MVP thanks to her 39-kill performance.

The win streak was snapped three days later, however, when the Trojans traveled to take on rival UAB in Birmingham.

Despite dropping the first set 25-21, Troy bounced back to win the next two sets 25-19 and 25-21 behind Landis, who topped her career-high performance against Savannah State with 19 kills against the Blazers.

UAB took the fourth set 25-20 and a 9-5 lead in the fifth set, a lead that it didn’t concede for the remainder of the contest.

Supporting Landis were senior outside hitter Symone Shaw and freshman middle hitter Logan Page, who had 11 and 10 kills, respectively.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Head Coach Sonny Kirkpatrick said. “It was by far the best we’ve played all year.

“UAB’s a good team, and they are well-coached. It’s been a long time since we played this well on the road against a good team. I’m really looking forward to getting back at it this weekend.”

Troy will do just that on Friday, Sept. 16, when it takes on Portland in the Trojans’ first game of the Maroon Classic at Mississippi State. Start time is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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