Raymond Bureau | September, 2021
After the entire first week of official games was canceled, Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors Volleyball finally took the court on August 30. Two weeks later, the Conquerors find themselves with a perfect record of 5 wins and 0 losses with two of those wins coming against News4Jax Super 6 teams.
Two easy wins to start the season
Trinity began the season with sweeps of Clay High School and St. Johns Country Day School on August 30 and 31, respectively.
TCA defeated Clay 25-17, 18, 14 and St. Johns 25-17, 16, 18. The Conquerors led all six sets nearly the entire way and never found themselves in any trouble of dropping a set. That changed, however, when they took on then-Super 6 Creekside on the road two days later.
Comeback vs. Creekside
On October 2, the 7A Creekside Knights handily won the first two sets over Trinity by identical scores of 25-16. The Conquerors, though, leaned on Head Coach Crystal Dow for encouragement and their six seniors for experience and leadership on the court.
The Conquerors and Knights fought back-and-forth for the rest of the night. Each time the Conquerors fell behind, they regrouped and found a way to steal the momentum. Sets 3 and 4 both went to Trinity by the score of 25-21.
Set 5 was just as intense. Trinity had to battle the home crowd in addition to the Knights on the court. Another seesaw set ensured, but the Conquerors prevailed by pulling away to a 15-10 set win and a 3-2 victory overall.
Conquerors 3, University Christian 0
Back on the home court on September 7 for a cross-town rivalry, the Conquerors had an easier time with University Christian. Trinity won the match in straight sets of 25-16, 13, 21. Again, the Conquerors were never in danger of dropping a set as they put University away rather quickly.
Loud, proud crowd sees Trinity outlast Bartram Trail
The best match so far this season came at home on Thursday, September 9. Class 7A Bartram Trail came to the Trinity gymnasium, and the Super 6 Bartram Bears brought their A game and a large fan group following with them.
The teams traded set wins with Trinity coming from behind to take the first 25-17. Set 2, however, was a seesaw affair the entire way. Trinity took a 22-20 lead, but the Bears fought back to win the next five points and take the set 25-22.
Set 3 was the best of the night. Neither team led by more than three at any point. With Bartram leading 24-23, Trinity scored twice to gain the advantage. Bartram tied it at 25, and the teams traded points to a 26-26 tie. Trinity won the next two well-played volleys to win the set 28-26.
Bartram scored first in Set 5, and the two teams again played a very tight set. With both teams playing hard and scoring into double digits, the Conquerors took a 14-10 lead and were ready to end the match. Bartram, though, got a kill to stave off match point – momentarily. On the next play, Ariel Ross’s kill attempt deflected off a defender and landed out of bounds for the 15-11 set win and 3-2 match win.
In describing the ladies’ resolve when falling behind the two Super 6 teams, Head Coach Crystal Dow offered her sentiments: “I am very proud of this team,” she said. “No matter how far down they get, they never give up; they always keep fighting. That competitive ‘never-give-up’ drive is what keeps pulling off all of these big upsets. We may make mistakes as individuals, but as a team, we are perfect!”
Throughout the first five matches, Amaria King has already amassed 90 kills for an average of 18 kills per match. Ally Carter, Makayla Markham, and King all have 9 service aces to lead the team.
Defensively, Hadley Dantzler has blocked 20 opposing kill attempts, and Maggie Gracyalny is tied with Layla Brooks for second at 7. Carter has 83 digs, followed by King with 65, Sheridan Beck with 41, and Ross with 39 to lead the Conquerors.
Entering this week’s action, MaxPreps and the FHSAA have the Conquerors ranked #17 in the state of Florida, #4 in Class 3A, and #217 overall in the nation. The new Super 6 comes out on September 15, and the Conquerors should have an excellent opportunity to move from “on-the-bubble” status onto the official list.