Thunder Volleyball Split First Home Games
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Trine University volleyball team split their home opener as they fell to conference rival Olivet 3-2 (25-14, 16-25, 25-15, 22-25, 10-15) in the first match before rebounding in the nightcap to defeat Rose-Hulman 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-22). The split keeps the Thunder at .500 on the season with a 3-3 overall record.
In the opener, the Thunder jumped out to an early first set victory hitting .333 with just three errors. Trine was unable to maintain their momentum in the second set as they had eight kills but also eight errors. Trine would get their game back in the third set as they again rolled through to take the 2-1 advantage.
In set number three, the Thunder jumped out to an early 7-3 lead but the Comets rattled off nine straight points. The Thunder did their best to mount a comeback, tying it at 19, but Olivet would go on another run to send it to a fifth set. In the race to 15 points, Trine again jumped out to an early lead before the Comets went on another run to re-take the lead. The Thunder would again battle back to tie the set at 10-10, but Olivet scored the final five points to take the victory.
In the match, junior Carly Searles (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) notched her third career triple-double as she finished with 37 assists, 17 digs and 11 kills.
In the nightcap, the Thunder controlled most of the action despite how it looked on the scoreboard. Trine out-hit Rose-Hulman 45-to-24 in kills and hit .143 compared to just .038. The biggest concern for the Thunder was that they had more hitting errors (27) that Rose-Hulman did total kills. Trine trailed midway through the first set before taking an 18-17 lead they never gave up.
In set number two, the Thunder would again trail early falling behind 4-0 before mounting a comeback to take a 10-9 lead. The two sides traded points and leads until Trine took the lead for good at 20-19.
The third set would again be a back-and-forth battle as the teams traded five lead changes and 11 tie scores. Trine again fell behind early but battled back to take a 4-3 lead. Rose-Hulman would regain the lead as they went on an 8-3 run to take a 16-11 lead. The Thunder answered with a run of their own to take an 18-17 lead. Then, with the game tied at 22, Trine rolled off the final three points on a kill by sophomore Lauren Verkamp (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community), an ace by junior Erin Lewis (Farmland, Ind./Winchester Community) and a kill by sophomore Taylor Rabel (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) to give the Thunder the victory.
On the night, Rabel led the team with 31 kills. Sophomore Stephanie Radandt (Walkerton, Ind./John Glenn) added 15 kills while Searles and sophomore Olivia Deck (Lansing, Mich./Grand Ledge) each added 14. Searles led the Thunder with 73 assists, 27 digs and 9 service aces. Deck also led the team with six blocks. Senior Carlee Felber (Newman, Calif./Orestimba) added 25 digs while Lewis had 22 for the Thunder