Trinity Titans volleyball beat Killdeer in 3 sets

The Trinity volleyball team's biggest worries Tuesday were its own errors. In a match against Killdeer the Titans otherwise had under control, they faulted on 13 serves, which only prolonged what amounted to be a 3-0 win over the Cowgirls at the ...

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Trinity senior outside hitter Madi Jahner watches her kill go past the arms of Killdeer sophomore middle blocker Bridgette Reiss Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Submitted Photo by Jim Berger)

The Trinity volleyball team’s biggest worries Tuesday were its own errors.
In a match against Killdeer the Titans otherwise had under control, they faulted on 13 serves, which only prolonged what amounted to be a 3-0 win over the Cowgirls at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
On an evening that began with the celebration of Trinity’s (23-9-3) five seniors, it ended with an excited acknowledgement of the team moving to 11-0 in Region 7.
“The ceremony was great. Fun, a little emotional,” senior outside hitter Madi Jahner said. “We didn’t disregard those feelings, but we turned them into more energy for the game. It’s a huge win. It proves we’re the No. 1 seed, and we’re coming into regionals ready to play at the top of our game.”
The Titans won against Killdeer (4-15-2, 2-9) by set scores of 25-17, 25-7, 25-11. Trinity hit .412 in the match and only had five hitting errors.
Senior outside hitter Kennedy Keator had 19 kills, and she was backed up by senior middle hitter Alanna Sickler (nine kills), Jahner (eight) and senior middle Brianna Soehren (six). Sophomore right side Sarah Mayer concluded the Titans’ attack with three kills.
The Titans did record eight aces during the match, led by junior outside hitter Sarah Kerkman’s four, but it was those pesky service aces that kept slowing the momentum.

“This late in the season, that’s something that should be consistent for us,” head coach Breanna Messer said. “This late in the season, we have to be able to execute on serves, get them over and in. We’re a team that can serve to spots, but tonight it was just an area we struggled in.”
The good news is the team knows what needs to be addressed before the Region 7 tournament begins.
First-round matches will take place Thursday between the eight teams that didn’t earn a bye, and the winners there will then face the top four seeds starting Monday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Those top four seeds are No. 4 New England, No. 3 Heart River, No. 2 Hazen and top-ranked Trinity.
“We had a lot of service errors, so we’re going to be working on that a lot this week,” Sickler said. “But it feels great going into the regional tournament No. 1. We definitely have the biggest target on our back, and we want to keep that.”
The Titans have are now winners of seven consecutive matches, and they’ve only lost one set in that time. In order for that steak to continue, Jahner said the Titans’ play will have to be cleaned up a bit.
“We have to limit our errors,” she said. “Those are just free points for the other team. When we get into those regional games, those points come back to bite you in the end, so we really have to play good, clean volleyball.”
Service errors aside, Messer recognizes what her team is doing well at the most important time of the year.
“One thing I really stressed since day one was playing as a team,” she said. “I told them, ‘If we want to be a successful team, we have to play as a team. There are no individuals with us. We win as one, and we get things done as a team.’”

Trinity 3, Killdeer 0
K 17 7 11 - 0
T 25 25 25 - 3
KILLS: T, Kennedy Keator 19, Alanna Sickler 9, Madi Jahner 8, Brianna Soehren 6, Sarah Mayer 3.
BLOCKS: T, Soehren 3, Chloe Ridl 1, Jahner 1, Mayer 1, Sickler 1.
ACES: T, Sarah Kerkman 4, Abby Jones 1, Ridl 1, Jahner 1.
ASSISTS: T, Ridl 37, Mayer 1, Soehren 1.
DIGS: T, Jahner 15, Sickler 13, Kerkman 10, Keator 9, Jones 8, Ridl 2, Mayer 1.

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