NEW PARIS — The National Trail volleyball team is off to a 2-3 start after some challenging losses and decisive wins through the first few weeks of the season.
Trail drops opener to Preble Shawnee 25/21, 23/25, 17/25, 23/25
The Blazers lost their home opener against county rival Preble Shawnee in four sets on Saturday, Aug. 22.
Leading the way offensively were the senior trio of Tristan Bowers with 11 kills, Angel Bowers with six kills and Paige Birdsall with five.
Angel had 13 assists while senior Madison Hathaway had 10 assists. On the service line, Hathaway led the team with four aces while freshman Addie Sparks and Tristan both added three aces.
Defensively, Tristan had three blocks while Angel and Birdsall had two blocks apiece. Trail was led in the dig department by Sparks with 19 digs, followed by junior Jenna Petitt and Angel with 13 digs each.
“I saw some really nice things from my team, but we still have a lot of work to do,” coach Joy Yeazel said.
Blazers fall in four sets again to Union County 22/25, 19/25, 28/26, 22/25
Three days later, Trail lost in four sets to Union County on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
“We are getting better each game,” Yeazel said. “These young women really fought back tonight and were hustling for every ball.”
Leading the way at the net were Tristan with nine kills, senior Jaidyn Tout with five kills and senior Kayleigh Michael with four kills. Angel had 19 assists and five aces while Tristan had three aces.
Defensively at the net, Sparks had four blocks, Tristan had three while Birdsall and Tout each added two blocks for the Blazers.
In the back row defensively, Michael had 19 digs, Angel had 13, and Sparks and Hathaway had 12 digs each.
Trail drops tough match to Brookville 25/21, 15/25, 27/25, 17/25, 10/15
Capping off the opening week, the Blazers lost a tough match in five sets to Brookville on Thursday, Aug. 27.
“I am really proud of these young ladies and the way they are playing volleyball,” Yeazel said. “They are improving every match and becoming a better team.”
Offensively, the Blazers were led by Sparks with six aces and Angel with five aces.
Leading the way in the kill department was Tristan with nine kills, Sparks with seven kills and Angel with five kills. Angel also had 12 assists, and Hathaway added 11 assists.
Defensively, Michael with 19 digs for the Blazers while Hathaway and Angel both had 10 digs.
Sparks had four blocks, Tristan had five blocks, Tout had three blocks, and Angel had two blocks.
Blazers battle for first win over Bethel 25/15, 25/22, 25/7
Trail picked up its first win of the season, defeating Bethel in straight sets in the Blazers first CCC matchup on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Starting setter Hathaway went down during warmups prior to Tuesday’s match with a possible torn ACL according to Yeazel.
Offensively, senior Kayleigh Michael led the team with 4 aces while fellow seniors Tout, Birdsall and Angel each had one ace.
Angel had 18 assists and Birdsall added three while Tristan led with seven kills, followed closely by Tout with six.
Defensively, Petitt fought for 16 digs, Angel had 12 and Michael had eight. At the net, the senior trio of Birdsall,Angel and Tristan each had one block.
Trail downs Ansonia in straight sets 25/16, 25/17, 25/15
The Blazers continued their winning ways with a straight sets victory over Ansonia on Thursday, Sept. 3.
Leading the team offensively were Michael with six kills, Tristan with five kills, Tout with four kills and Sparks with four kills.
At the service line, Tout had four aces, Michael had three aces, Angel had two aces and Sparks had two aces.
Angel had 16 assists and Birdsall added an assist.
Defensively, Petitt had 13 digs, Michael had 10 digs and Angel had seven digs. At the net, Birdsall, Michael, Sparks and Tristan each had one block.
”These young ladies have been working on improving every match and it shows,” Yeazel said.
The win moves Trail to 2-0 in conference play thus far.
Trail was set to host Tri-Village on Sept. 8 and will go on the road to face Newton on Sept. 10.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles