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Troy volleyball opens season with loss

Published 6:51pm Friday, August 30, 2013

The Troy volleyball team opened its 2013 season with a tough, 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 25-13, 22-25, 15-6), loss to Stephen F. Austin on Friday at the Southern Miss Invitational. 

“The loss stings but it was against a good opponent,” Troy head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick said.  “When we played aggressive in our system, we played really well.  The problem was we weren’t always aggressive in our system.

“We’ll make some subtle changes and come out ready to go against too quality opponents tomorrow.”

The Trojans close their portion of the tournament on Saturday when they play host-school Southern Miss at 11 a.m. and Jackson State, an NCAA Tournament team a year ago, at 1:30 p.m.

Against Stephen F. Austin, Courtney Cohen started her senior season by setting a school record with 37 digs in the match, but it wasn’t enough between two 20-game winners from a season ago.  Cohen’s 37 digs broke her own school record of 35 set two seasons ago.

Kayla Pickart led the Trojans offensively with 17 kills and just two errors for a .441 attack percentage.  Newcomer Marija Zelenovic recorded a team-high 18 kills for the Trojans while Preseason All-Sun Belt member Alexandra Alexander posted 40 assists and true freshman Bruna Souza posted 17.

Troy was without fellow Preseason All-Sun Belt selection Blair Winston who led the Trojans with 356 kills a season ago.

The Trojans hit .232 in the match, but Stephen F. Austin recorded a .286 team attack percentage, led by Jill Ivy who had a match-high 25 kills and just four errors for a .488 attack percentage.

After splitting the first four sets, the Trojans fell into an early hole in the fifth set as the Ladyjacks raced out to a 5-0 lead, thanks in large part to two service aces.  Troy couldn’t overcome the early deficit and never got within four points in the deciding set.

Zelenovic and Alexander each recorded double-doubles for the Trojans as the pair posted 12 and 11 digs, respectively.

For more information on Troy Athletics, visit TroyTrojans.com.  Fans can also find Troy on Twitter or Instagram at @TroyAthletics or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TroyAthletics.

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