Trinity Lutheran underclassmen shine in sweep of Rising Sun

The Trinity Lutheran volleyball team opened its season Tuesday night with a 25-16, 25-14, 25-11 win against Rising Sun in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.

In the opening set, an ace serve by Abby Hackman put the Cougars on top 5-2.

An ace by Whitney Rogers gave the home team a 14-8 lead and after the Shiners closed to 18-13, the Cougars finished on a 7-3 run with Hannah Sabotin getting a kill for set point.

The Cougars were leading 11-7 in the second set when they went to their attacking game and used two kills by Hackman, and one each by Abby Schult and Lexi Schneider to take a 15-7 advantage.

A block by Savannah Harweger and Schneider put the Cougars at 18-9 before a set point came on a hitting error by the Shiners.

The third set was tied at 4-4 until the Cougars used a 5-0 run to take command.

Sami Newmister served back-to-back aces to give Trinity the 9-4 lead. An ace by Rogers doubled Trinity’s lead to 16-8, and match point came on a block by Harweger.

“I saw a lot of great things,” Cougars coach Chelsea Stroub said. “Our passing, I thought, was really good, and I thought leadership came through so that was awesome.

“I felt we had some serving errors that I didn’t think we needed, but overall our serving was strong. We just need to lower the errors.”

The Cougars were 65 of 73 with nine aces in serving with Newmister going 15-for-16 with four and Schneider made all 13 attempts.

Trinity had 31 kills with Chloe Criswell going 14-for-17 with seven kills.

Schneider and Rogers were the only seniors on the floor for Trinity with four freshmen and two sophomores seeing a lot of playing time.

Trinity was without two varsity players as Sydney Stahl is injured and Hailley Peters was ill.

Stroub said the younger players will definitely be playing a lot.

“We have a lot of great freshmen this year,” she said. “They’re pushing into their spots and doing a great job.”

Trinity Lutheran (1-0) will host Southwestern on Thursday night.

“We’re going to work on our errors, fixing those, and make other teams make mistakes,” Stroub said. “That is what we’re going to be working on (today) in practice. We want to make sure we’re playing our game and not the competition.”

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.