The Trojan volleyball team wrapped up its home season over the weekend with two losses while celebrating the achievements of five seniors in the program.
The Trojans had senior night on Friday, Nov. 7, acknowledging the efforts and achievements of five senior Trojans: student coach Alicia Dukes, defensive specialist Kelley Curran, outside hitter Kayla Pickart, middle hitter Katie Feemster and outside hitter Marija Zelenovic.
The Trojans played well against ULM at the start of the match and took a 1-0 lead by winning the first set 25-18. ULM responded by taking the second set 25-21 and the match was tied at halftime 1-1.
The Trojans took the third set 25-20 and were once again one set away from snapping the losing streak. However, ULM would take the fourth set 25-17 and force a fifth set.
The Trojans would have a match point at 14-12 in the fifth set, but were unable to convert and ULM took a 15-14 lead after a three-point rally.
The Trojans fought off two match points, but ULM would eventually take the set 18-16 and the match 3-2.
“We played hard,” head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick said. “Obviously I’m disappointed with the result but we got back to what we did best.”
Junior outside hitter Blair Winston had a double-double with 25 kills and 16 digs, while junior middle hitter Darby Griff had an attack percentage of .435 for the match. Freshman setter Reina Terry had 49 assists and junior libero Ali Dowdall had 22 digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Symone Shaw also had a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs.
“Senior night is always a special night,” Kirkpatrick said. “We had five girls that gave their blood, sweat and tears for this program. I just wish the result had been different tonight for them.”
The Trojans faced ULL in their final home match of the season on Saturday, Nov. 8.
The Trojans were unable to fight off a fast start from ULL and the Ragin’ Cajuns took a 2-0 lead into halftime after winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-23, respectively.
ULL came out of halftime and finished out the match quickly, taking the third set 25-11 and the match 3-0.
“First two games I thought we did some really good things,” Kirkpatrick said. “The third set fell apart really fast. Our players chose to not do their jobs. In order for us to be better as a program they need to do their job better and I need to do my job better in helping them to move forward.”
Winston led the team with 10 kills, while Zelenovic had eight kills in her final match in Trojan Arena. Terry had 30 assists, Dowdall had 14 digs and Curran had 13 digs in her final match in Trojan Arena as well.
“We’ve got three opportunities to end the streak,” Kirkpatrick said. “Our players need to raise their expectations.”
The Trojans are officially eliminated from playing in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, but have three final road matches left this season.
The Trojans play at Texas State on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Georgia State on Friday, Nov. 21 and at South Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 22.