Our #1 ranked Tigers concluded their regular season with a thriller on Saturday against Trinity University, making a comeback after a two-set deficit and being down 4-0 in the fifth set.
This match was their third against Trinity this season, and the Tigers beat them in both prior matches. Intensity was at a high level throughout the match, as Trinity came out fighting, with strong sets of 25-22 and 25-18 to start off the match.
The Tigers fought back, recording an intense 25-19, 25-23, 25-13 to complete the comeback. Hugely important for the team during the comeback was outside hitter Haley Harris, who recorded six of her 22 kills during the fifth set.
“We played them two times before and they always play a really strong match,” sophomore setter Lizzy Counts said. “Especially in conference championship games… so we knew they were gonna come out to play. We know their hitters and we know what they do already since we’ve played them, so we just had to focus on ourselves while not forgetting their tendencies.”
The match wrapped up an incredible season: one that saw them rise to the top of the NCAA.
The Tigers finished 31-1 in the regular season, earning a first-round bye in the SCAC tournament. They battled Texas Lutheran in the second round of tournament, winning an electrifying match, three sets to two.
The Tigers now head into the national tournament as a #1 seed. This weekend the Tigers will face New Rochelle in Georgetown, Texas, in the first round. Counts addressed the team’s motivation entering the first few games of the tournament.
“We just have to focus on our side of the net. We’ve been playing really well this whole year and there’s not a team in the country we can’t beat,” Counts said. “New Rochelle is a really scrappy team. They pick up a lot of balls and it’s hard to score points on them, but if we limit our errors and play how we have all year, we shouldn’t have a problem.”
If they advance past their New York competition, they could face Trinity in the second round, pending Trinity’s first round with Pacific Lutheran. This season is already one for the books, and this weekend could intensify that.