Volleyball’s woes continue in SBC play

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy volleyball team’s struggles continued into October, as it dropped a 0-3 decision on the road to South Alabama and a 1-3 contest at home against Florida A&M.

With the pair of losses, the Trojans (6-16, 0-5 Sun Belt) extended their current losing streak to 11 games. Their last win was against Savannah State on Sept. 10.

In Troy’s match at rival South Alabama on Saturday, the visitors were unable to overcome late mistakes in the third set, allowing the Jaguars (10-8, 1-4 Sun Belt) to take the game in three straight sets.

The Trojans made things interesting in the first set, which ended in a 27-25 win for the home team. Senior outside hitter Symone Shaw gave Troy a spark in the extended set with five kills, but it wasn’t enough to stop South Alabama from taking the lead.

The match remained a close contest as both sides traded punches in the second set. South Alabama took a commanding 24-17 lead late in the set, but Troy battled back to bring the deficit within four. The Jaguars snuffed the rally when senior middle blocker Nikki Gittens’ kill closed out the set 25-20.

Down two sets, Troy battled back early in the third set, but eventually fell victim to its own mistakes. The Trojans committed seven attack errors in the set and conceded a 10-3 run to South Alabama that put the nail in the coffin.

The loss was the Trojans’ third straight shutout, and their eighth in their last nine games.

Shaw led Troy on offense with eight kills, followed by freshman middle hitter Logan Page, who had seven. The visitors also struggled to hold their own against the Jaguar attack, recording a .126 hitting percentage to South Alabama’s .308.

Gittens led the Jaguars with 11 kills.

Troy had little time to rest following the loss, and three days later returned to Trojan Arena for a nonconference battle with Florida A&M.

The Trojans were met with the same results as in the past few weeks, but they were able to grind out a win on their home court to keep the match close.

The Rattlers jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first set, a lead that Troy was never able to overcome. The Trojans cut the deficit to four late, but FAMU scored five of the last six points to take the lead.

Troy evened the playing field in the second set, though, using an 8-3 run to come away with a 25-20 win the second set. Senior right side Sara Landis propelled her team to that win with four kills in the set.

Despite the win, the home team ran out of steam in the final two sets, falling 25-21 and 25-22. The Rattlers had two players with double-digit kills: freshman outside hitters Maria Garcia and Nicole Abreu, who had 19 and 13, respectively.

Landis led the Trojans with 15 kills, two digs and four blocks. That helped her earn a .387 hitting percentage.

Troy will continue its search for a conference win on Friday, Oct. 14, against Georgia Southern. Start time at Trojan Arena is set for 6 p.m.

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