Belmont claims Trojan Classic

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 18, 2000

TROY – After falling behind 2-0, Troy State made valiant comeback, but came up short as Belmont claimed the 2000 Trojan Classic Championship here Saturday.

Both teams came out firing. The lead went back and forth as both teams tried to set the tone for the match. Troy State took the largest lead of the game at 13-10. After a Kaite Linde kill got a side out for the Lady Bruins, they scored the next three point to tie the score at 13.

The Trojans had game point at 14-13 after an attack error by Kristen Moore. But Belmont would fight that off and would score the next two points to claim the first game 16-14.

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Belmont had the momentum, and picked up right where they left off in the second game. The Lady Bruins scored the first five points of the game. But Troy State would come back, scoring four of the next five points to cut the lead to 6-4.

That was as close as the Trojans would get. Belmont went on a 9-1 run to take a 13-5 lead. Troy State would cut the lead to 13-9 but couldn’t get any closer, as Belmont took a 2-0 lead with a 15-9 lead.

Game three began the same way as game two with Belmont taking a 5-1 lead. But, the Trojans would come back in this game, and in so doing took an 8-6 lead, led by two aces by Erika VanHootegem.

The lead would go back and forth for the rest of the game, with both teams having a chance to win the game. Haven Triboulet capped the game for the Trojans with a kill giving the Trojans a 18-16 victory, and cut the Belmont lead to 2-1.

Troy State came out and took command early in game four. The Trojans, led by three kills by Triboulet and two kills by Rachel Hassan, jumped out to a 7-1 lead.

But Belmont would fight back. The Bruins clawed their way back into the game, tying the score at 11. They would go on to take a 13-11 lead on a kill by Brittney Baggett. But Troy State would not give up.

The Trojans ended the game with a 4-0 run to tie the match a two with a 15-13 victory, forcing a decisive fifth game.

With rally scoring in place for the fifth game where the match can change hands quickly, both teams traded serves early for a 3-3 tie. Belmont would get serve and jumped out to an 8-3 lead.

The Trojans could cut the lead to 9-5, but that was as close as they got, as the Lady Bruins ran away with it, claiming the title with a 15-6 win.

Emily Larson led the Trojan offense, setting a career-high in assists with 77 to go along with a career-high 29 digs. The duo of VanHootegem and Triboulet led the Trojan offense again with double-doubles. VanHootgem had 28 kills and 12 digs and Triboulet had 21 kills and 18 digs. Hassan also had a double-double with 15 kills and 13 digs and Amy Kellogg added 13 kills.

Belmont was led by Britney Baggetts 23 kills. Katie Linde chipped in with 17 kills and 16 digs and Kati Baumgartner has 16 kills and a team high 18 digs. Katie Nicholson directed the offense, dishing out 72 assists.

Belmont had defeated Bethune-Cookman 3-1 in the first match of the day, 15-5, 11-15, 15-5, 15-9. Baumgartner and Linde had nine kills to lead the Lady Bruins.

In the other match, High Point rallied from a 2-1 deficit to claim a 3-2 win, 15-12, 13-15, 13-15, 15-10, 17-15. Kamarsha Ryan and Jessica Dollbaum led the Lady Panther offense with 15 kills a piece. Shakirah Hudson led the Lady Wildcats with 18 kills in the loss.

The tournament MVP was Troy States Larson. Other members of the All-tournament team were VanHootgem and Triboulet for the Trojans, High Points Ryan, and Belmonts Linde and Moore.

Belmont’s win held up the quest for Troy State’s head coach Ginger Lowes 300th win at TSU. The Trojans will be in action again Tuesday, facing in-state rival Alabama A&M at 7 p.m.