Trinity tops Clearwater, earns 4A-Division II volleyball berth
CLEARWATER When Trinity’s volleyball coach Marie Gosha saw the expression on Annie Friesen’s face during the second set of the Class 4A-Division II volleyball sub-state tournament championship match against Clearwater, she started to feel at ease.
“When Annie gets a certain look on her face, I can relax a little bit,” Gosha said. “There’s a certain look that she makes and it’s just like, ‘OK, we are not going to lose this game;’ all the coaches can sit back.”
Trinity defeated Clearwater 25-23, 25-14.
Friesen ended with eight kills, while Emma Hilgenfeld had nine and a service ace, and Jessie Clinton seven kills and a block assist.
“We just come together and we play together, and it’s awesome,” Friesen said. “There’s no stopping us once we start. We get that chemistry and we get that fire, and we just push through everything.”
Friesen—one of Trinity’s seven seniors—needed to fire up her teammates after a back-and-forth first set that the Knights won 25-23, where she had four kills and a block assist.
It wasn’t until Trinity’s seventh point of the first set that it scored twice in a row, and the Knights’ biggest lead of the set was only three points.
The momentum Trinity gained in the first set carried over into the second, and it didn’t take long for the Knights to string points together. Trinity broke through to a seven-point lead after five consecutive points scored by three players.
“They really want each other to succeed, and that’s what’s really fun about it,” Gosha said. “There’s not one superstar, or someone who wants it all, they want it for each other just as much as they do for themselves.”
Clearwater’s Alyssa Campbell ended the scoring streak with a kill, but the Indians couldn’t take control. Trinity immediately scored four more points for a 10-point 17-7 lead, and cruised to a 25-14 finish in the set.
“Missed serves are definitely a killer for us, but we just needed to capitalize on a couple of the free balls that we got and we didn't,” Clearwater coach Trista Bailey said. “We had some opportunities to make some big plays, but we just didn’t string enough together in the second set.”
After Hilgenfeld’s final kill of the match, the Knights broke into tears, becoming the first volleyball team in school history to reach the state tournament.
“This team has been kind of different from a lot of the teams I’ve coached, because they know they can do it. They don’t seem to be intimidated by any other teams,” Gosha said. “We have goals every game, and we talk about our goals, we evaluate them, and we always have something we focus on.”
Clearwater’s Bryna Vogel finished with seven kills and a service ace, and freshman Olivia Worden had nine digs and two service aces.
Semifinals — Trinity def. Andale 25-15, 25-12; Clearwater def. Pratt 25-15, 25-22. Final — Trinity def. Clearwater 25-23, 25-14.