BOURBONNAIS — A fierce match took place in Olivet Nazarene University’s McHie Arena Thursday night when the Tiger’s volleyball team faced the Trinity Trolls in a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference showdown.
Olivet, currently tied for second in conference, fought hard against the No. 1 ranked Trolls. Ultimately, however, the Trolls came out on top with a 3-0 victory.
“We’re a young team, and TCC has a lot more depth and a lot more chemistry because of that depth,” Tigers coach Cynthia Anderson said. “They are use to playing next to each other, and there’s just more of a flow.
“We’re still a younger team; we’re still working things out, but I think that we were able to make changes quick on our side of the court to get us back up into the game.”
The Tigers were able to work their way up and had an impressive comeback in the third set, trimming their deficit to just a pair at 25-23.
Although they dropped the set, the Tigers showed better resolve after falling 25-18 and 25-11 in the first two games.
With players such as setter Kaylee Kastelein and libero Kaitlyn McMahan on their A-game, the team put up a hard fight, which Kastelein said was the Tiger’s top priority.
“We really wanted to compete with TCC,” she said. “The last time we played against them, we weren’t really the team we could be. So tonight, I just wanted to show them really how good our team actually was despite our age. I was really proud of how we showed up and put up some good competition.”
Fans were hanging off the edge of their seats in the deciding third set when it appeared that Olivet might turn around and take the game and make things interesting.
Both teams fought neck-and-neck, only one or two points separating the leading team throughout the entire set.
“All around, we had a good match. Our defense was really reading well and picked up some good digs,” Kastelein said. “All of our players really showed up to play tonight.”
Two team members were recognized at the beginning of the match for breaking career records recently.
Skinner reached the 1,000 assist mark as just a sophomore, and Kastelein broke the 2,500 assist barrier.
“We really just wanted to recognize these outstanding setters and all their hard work,” Anderson said.
The Tigers can be seen in action again this Saturday against St. Francis at home at 1 p.m.