Trojans claim State Farm Invitational

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2000

BIRMINGHAM – Troy State overcame a 2-1 deficit to overtake the host school Samford, 3-2, to claim the 2000 Samford State Farm Invitational here Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the Trojans took out Tennessee State 3-0.

In a match that lasted just over a hour,Troy State dominated, winning 15-3, 15-4, 15-5.

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Emily Larson led the Trojans offense with nine kills and 34 assists,

Rachel Hassan and Amy Kellogg both chipped in with eight kills in the win.

In the afternoon match, the Bulldogs jumped out early and took the first game 15-8.

Samford got out to a 6-1 lead, and the Trojans got it as close 10-6, but Samford regained control to win the game.

In the second game, Troy State got off to the hot start, running off the first six points and had a 10-3, lead at one point.

Samford was never really in the game, as Troy State won 15-5.

In the third game, Samford jumped out again. This time, the Lady Bulldogs got ahead 9-1.

But the Trojans would come back.

Going on an 8-1 run, Troy State got the score to 10-9.

But Samford, led by two of Whitney Miller’s 23 kills, took the game 15-10.

The fourth game began as a back-and-forth affair, with Samford taking a 6-5 lead.

That would be the last lead they would have in the game, as Troy State go on a 10-1 run to force the deciding fifth game.

The fifth game began with Samford taking a 8-4 lead. But after a timeout, the Trojans ran off the next six points to take a 10-8 lead.

Even after Samford’s timeout the Trojans took control to claim their first tournament title of the season, with a 15-11 win.

"There were times in this match that we didn’t play well," said Troy State head coach Ginger Lowe, whose team claimed its first tournament victory since 1995.

"We played with intensity at times, and then at other times we would take a step back.

They are good team, and we have to face them again in conference play, so we know we are going to have to get better, because they are going to get better."

Erika VanHootegem led the Trojans with her fourth double-double of the year with 24 kills and 13 digs. Amy Kellogg chipped in with 16 kills with Haven Triboulet and Rachel Hassan also getting double-doubles with Triboulet getting 13 kills and 12 digs and Hassan getting 11 kills and 15 digs.

Larson, who was named tournament MVP, led the offense with 62 assists and six kills and nine digs.

"We wouldn’t be anywhere without Emily," said Lowe about Larson, who claimed her second tournament MVP award this season.

"She is such a competitor and challenges everyone else on the floor.

With her being the veteran, she has allowed us to be more comfortable with our offense."

Kellogg was also named to the all-tournament team.

"Amy played very well for us today," said Lowe. "She really stepped up when some of our other players weren’t playing as well."

The Trojans are off until Tuesday, when they travel back to the Magic City to face Birmingham-Southern.

First serve is set for 7 p.m.