THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Brittany Yaxley had 16 kills but the University of La Verne volleyball team had a tough time stopping No. 21 Trinity's (Texas) attack as it fell to the Tigers, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15, in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Championship on Friday evening.
How it happened: The teams traded points early in the first set. But Trinity created the first separation with a 4-0 run aided by three kills by Maggie Emodi and the Tigers never looked back in the set. The Leopards got within one on three different occasions, but the Tigers had an answer each time. Yaxley led La Verne with five kills in the frame and Emodi had seven kills on 10 attempts without an error for Trinity.
The Leopards jumped out to a 6-1 lead to start the second keyed by four kills by Yaxley. But Trinity got back in it with a couple of kills from Emodi and Erin Cusenbary and took the lead for good on a La Verne error in the middle of the set. La Verne tried to mount a rally led by 10 kills by Yaxley, but the Leopards could not string any points together the rest of the way.
The Tigers grabbed control of the third set early and eased to a double-digit set win.
Stat of the game: Trinity picked its spots well and kept La Verne's defense on its heels. The Tigers registered just seven attack errors in 111 attempts and hit .297 on the evening.
Players of the game: Yaxley kept La Verne alive with timely kills all match and led all players with 16 kills on 44 attempts (.250 hitting percentage). She alsoadded nine digs.
Two-time AVCA All-American Maggie Emodi had 15 kills on 30 attempts with no errors.
What it means: La Verne completely turned around its fortunes this season after a tough 2013, returning to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence.
Despite falling short, the future looks bright for the Leopards. La Verne returns two All-Region selections in Yaxley and Robinson and promising underclassmen should be ready for bigger roles with a tournament experience under their belts.Follow La Verne Athletics on Twitter @ULV_Athletics Follow La Verne Athletics on Instagram @ULV_Athletics
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