Trolls take a step up
Here’s a sign of a solid team: When Trinity Christian College’s women’s volleyball competition stepped up in class last weekend, so did the Trolls.
A couple of losses were needed to jump-start it, but Trinity bounced back with two victories on Saturday to leave the Olivet Nazarene campus in Bourbonnais with a 2-2 mark in the Tigers’ invitational.
That gave the Trolls a 3-2 record for the week and a 14-4 reading for the season, which now gets heavily into Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference action.
Friday night’s grind began with a five-set loss to Campbellsville. The Kentucky school scored a 13-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-10 victory, with Trinity having numerous chances to swing the momentum in the critical third set — and beyond — but being unable to do so.
And there was no rest for the weary as Grand View, from Iowa, was waiting in the wings. The Trolls won the first set, but Grand View stormed back to take the next three, winning 24-26, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18.
Nine sets and 385 points over four hours meant Trinity athletes slept well, and quickly. They were rested for Saturday’s doubleheader against Cornerstone, from Michigan, and Indiana Tech.
Cornerstone had won its two matches on Friday and also claimed the first two sets against Trinity, but then the Trolls rallied and prevailed, 16-26, 22-25, 25-13, 25-13, 15-12. Jessica Wiltjer led the comeback as she put down 12 of Trinity’s 41 kills, but Kirsten Harms’ nine kills and the combined defensive work of Ellie Raebel and Erynn Schuh (15 and 14 digs, respectively) were also key ingredients.
Finally, the Trolls disposed of Indiana Tech in straight sets, though not without resistance, 25-15, 26-24, 25-23. Wiltjer blocked five Warriors shots and notched eight kills, while Kaitlin Feddema recorded a team-high nine kills. Schuh, Raebel and Lauren Macadlo had 32 digs between them.
Last week opened with a three-set romp over Calumet College of St. Joseph. Trinity won 25-19, 25-7, 25-15 to move to 3-0 in CCAC play.
• Record: 14-4 overall, 3-0 CCAC, 6-0 home, 3-1 away, 5-3 neutral. Leaders: Kaitlin Feddema 169 kills; Erynn Schuh 24 aces; Ellie Raebel 215 digs; Jessica Wiltjer 66 blocks.
• Schedule: Today, at Indiana University-South Bend, 7 p.m. ET; Saturday, at Robert Morris Quadrangular, 11 a.m.; Oct. 4-5, at CCAC Crossover; Oct. 8, at University of St. Francis; Oct. 10, at Purdue-North Central; Oct. 11-12, at St. Francis Invitational.
Call them the Cardiac Trolls.
It doesn’t rhyme or embrace alliteration, but it’s fitting, given Trinity’s recent penchant to wait almost until the finish to get the job done. Twice last week, the Trolls scored in the last eight minutes to snap a tie and gain a victory, thus moving over .500 (3-2-1) this season.
Saturday’s 2-1 triumph over Oakland City at the Route 83 sports complex was the latest exhibit of their pluck. Trailing at halftime, Trinity bounced back with Joey Bahena’s goal 49 seconds into the second half and another by Mauricio Salgado with 7:21 remaining. Salgado had set up Bahena’s score.
Goalkeeper Rick Fawkes, who had been beaten by Greg Fernie in the first half, was flawless the rest of the way, making five saves in all.
Fawkes was perfect all the way in a 1-0 victory at Huntington, stopping five shots. He had to be solid, for the Foresters’ defense was almost as good against an attacking Trolls squad.
Trinity forced five corner kicks to Huntington’s one, but it wasn’t until 82:24, when Richie Carillo got loose and scored, that the Trolls got on the board. A few minutes of stout defense against Huntington’s last gasp, and Trinity evened its road record at 1-1-1.
That’s important because, with this past Tuesday’s home match against Purdue University Calumet in the books, the Trolls have three of their next four on the road. All of the matches are conference affairs.
• Record: 3-2-1 overall, 0-0 CCAC, 2-1 home, 1-1-1 away, 0-0 neutral. Leaders: Caleb Steele, Mauricio Salgado, Joey Bahena 2 goals each; Emmanuel Yanquaye, Salgado 2 assists each; Salgado 6 points; GAA: Rick Fawkes 1.20 goals-against average. .842 save percentage (16 saves, 3 goals against).
• Schedule: Saturday, at Illinois Institute of Technology, 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, at Trinity International University, 4 p.m.; Oct. 5, vs. Roosevelt University, 3 p.m.; Oct. 8, at Olivet Nazarene University, 7 p.m.
One and done.
And that was a good thing for the Trolls last week at Huntington. One goal was all they needed to knock off the Foresters and gain their first road victory of the season.
Abby McDonald’s goal, set up by Kayla Diemer at 70:46, made the difference offensively.
Defensively, the usual suspects, including goalkeeper Becky Gold, made the difference. Gold recorded seven saves in collecting her third shutout of the season and improving her save percentage to .895.
At 4-1-1 entering this week’s play — which started Wednesday with a home match against conference foe Purdue University Calumet — Trinity is off to a solid start. Counting that match, five of its next nine encounters are at home, including three straight Saturday afternoon matches beginning with Roosevelt University on Oct. 5.
• Record: 4-1-1 overall, 0-0 CCAC, 3-0-1 home, 1-1 away, 0-0 neutral. Leaders: Rachael Webb 3 goals; Bekah Gonzales, Cassidy Bosslaar, Webb, Amy Tadla, AnaIsa VanHeukelum, Kayla Diemer 1 assist each; Webb 7 points; Becky Gold, 0.67 goals-against average, .895 save percentage (34 saves, 4 goals against, 3 shutouts).
• Schedule: Saturday, at Illinois Institute of Technology, 1 p.m.; Tuesday, at Trinity International University, 4 p.m.; Oct. 5, vs. Roosevelt University, 12:30 p.m.; Oct. 9, at Olivet Nazarene University, 5 p.m.
The Trolls’ finest showing of the season came at the Illinois Valley Classic, with Trinity, led by Logan Vos, finishing seventh in a 20-school field.
His 75, scored Friday at Deer Creek Golf Course in Oglesby, is the best round for a Troll this year, and by adding a 78 on Saturday at Senica’s Oak Ridge a few miles away, Vos tied for 15th place individually with a two-day total of 153. Six strokes in arrears and tied for 28th was freshman Jonathan Zandstra, whose 83-76 combination added up to 159.
Vos and Zandstra were the only players to break 80. Spencer TenHaken’s 80-81–161 put him in a tie for 37th.
Trinity is closer to home this week. After today’s visit to Balmoral Woods in Crete for the Olivet Nazarene Invitational, the locals will host their own Troll Classic at Calumet Country Club in Homewood next Thursday.
• Scoring leaders: Logan Vos, 75, Aug. 30, Sept. 20; Jonathan Zandstra, 76, Sept. 21; Scott Ebbeling, 78, Aug. 31; Tim Hoeksema, 79, Aug. 31, Spencer TenHaken, 79, Aug. 27.
• Schedule: Today, Olivet Nazarene Invitational, at Balmoral Woods; Oct. 3, Troll Classic, at Calumet Country Club; Oct. 7-8, Taylor Fall Invitational, at Egypt Valley Golf Course, Ada., Mich.
The cross country teams are off until Oct. 5, when they run at the Wisconsin Lutheran Invitational in Milwaukee. The men’s basketball schedule opens on Friday, Nov. 1, with the Trolls hosting Indiana-Kokomo. It’s one of only four home games before mid-January. The women’s basketball squad also opens on Nov. 1, at Indiana University-Northwest in Gary. Its home opener is Tuesday, Nov. 5, versus St. Ambrose University, the first of seven home games for Trinity before Christmas.