By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
Trinity girls’ volleyball (3-2) won their home non-league matchup against the Milken Community Wildcats (3-3), 3-1, on Monday.
The Knights won with scores of 25-22, 21-25, 25-20 and 25-20.
Trinity was led by middle blocker Jordan Hahn, who hammered down 10 kills in three sets of action.
The Knights got off to a great start and were up as much as 10-2 early in the first set. However, some strong serving and a 7-0 Milken run got the Wildcats back in the game and eventually tied the set at 22. The Knights turned the flares back on and won the first set 25-22 off an ace from Emerald Lipis.
“Coach is always telling us to stay at our level and play at our level,” said Hahn. “We just worked together at the end to tie those knots and make sure we go all the way.”
Trinity wasn’t looking too tired even after a long weekend of tournament action. The team tried a new lineup in the second set featuring three new starters. The Knights came out firing and got off to a 5-0 run but some sloppy passing and hitting kept Milken in the game.
Milken then got their first lead of the day midway through the set. The Wildcats’ serving and Trinity’s occasional sloppy passing kept the game close.
The Wildcats started to pull away late and eventually a kill by senior Tanya Tour would tie the game at 1-1.
Trinity head coach Rebecca Peluffo didn’t panic after dropping the set and simply told her team to do the little things right heading into the third.
The Knights returned to their opening set lineup in hopes to take the most important third set. Errors on both sides made it anyone’s game early on. Eventually, excellent serving from senior Emma Carver would spark another Trinity run to bump the Knights’ lead up to 19-11. Carver knocked down all three of her aces in the run and finished the game with nine kills.
However, even facing a 19-11 deficit, the Wildcats kept their heads in the game and managed a 4-0 run to tighten the game. They couldn’t snag the lead but kept fighting for every point. The Knights’ middle blocker Daisy Sacoff would send back an overpass to end the third set.
Trinity got off to another hot start in the fourth set and quickly found themselves up 10-2. The team finally was keeping their foot on the gas but little mistakes kept giving Milken just enough points to hang in there.
The teams exchanged blows late in the set for six straight points until Carver knocked down her eighth kill to bring the game to match point. The Wildcats showed great perseverance, battling and winning a long eight-possession rally while facing match point. Milken would steal one more point to cut the lead to four but Carver again knocked down the game-winning kill.
Libero Viviana Haro was a consistent anchor for the Knights’ defense. The senior tallied up four digs and a ton of great serve receives even with the Wildcats trying to avoid hitting near her.
“We have great middles and great blocking,” said Haro. “Our setter is great. I think we’re really good.”
After the game and paying their respects to each other, both teams participated in a bit of a dance party on the court.
The Knights’ offense has plenty of weapons and setter Lily Caddow gave most of them plenty of swings Monday.
“We want to spread the offense,” said Peluffo. “We have such great hitters all around.”
Peluffo will look to keep pushing her team out of their comfort zones and into the great players she knows they can be.
“They have so much potential and I’m so excited to see where they take this,” said Peluffo.
Trinity will be off for about a week before they open up Heritage League play on the road against Lancaster Baptist.
“Our offense [has been key],” said Peluffo. “We’ve been swinging away and executing out of that really well. Our defense and serving has been a key factor for us being able to hit spots and stay aggressive.”