Moments before Trinity Classical Academy lost game three and the match, Saige Weaver sidled over to the far right end of Grace Brethren of Simi Valley’s service line and unleashed a serve that crashed into the net and fell untouched onto the only side of the court Trinity was concerned with Wednesday.
The Knights knew what kind of challenge they faced in their season opener at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health. With the reigning CIF-Southern Section Division 8 champions in town, Trinity’s focus was to use it as a measuring stick.
“We always love playing them because they’re a good team to gauge where we’re at,” said Trinity coach Rebecca Peluffo after a 3-0 loss by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-15. “That’s what we’re concerned about. We’re concerned about what’s on our side of the net and what we can improve on and get better as the season goes along.”
The Knights got better as Wednesday went along. After a Grace rout in game one, the Knights tied the score 18-18 in game two on one of Hannah Caddow’s team-high 12 kills.
The Lancers responded by scoring seven of the game’s final eight points. They then jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game three and never looked back.
Still, Trinity senior Kathryn Brooks saw a silver lining.
“I think we were lucky to have them as our first match because it’s always hard when preseason games are easier than what you see in league, so it was actually a blessing to be able to come out and push ourselves,” said Brooks, whose team won the program’s first-ever Heritage League title in 2016.
“Being thrown into the deep end pushed our team a lot and made us better for it.”
Brooks led Trinity with 17 assists. She added six digs, as did Caddow.
Julia Carver had eight digs, and Carissa Bixler had five kills for the Knights, who will host Golden Valley at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health on Sept. 5.
Brooks feels the Knights will know more about themselves entering that match.
“It’s crazy that I saw our team grow closer in one game, but I think I did,” Brooks said. “Just learning each other and how we’re going to play. For this to be the start of our season is amazing. I think we can only go up from here. I think the peak is pretty high for us.”