Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College volleyball team, under the direction of Head Coach Jen Bowman (13th season), finished the 2016 season with an 10-13 overall record and finished in tenth place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a 1-9 record in league play. A youthful Bantams squad that experienced highs and lows this fall, gained valuable experience that sets the team up to be successful next season.
The Bantams opened the season in early September by hosting the Trinity Volleyball Invitational. The Bantams went 1-2 that weekend, sweeping Westfield State after losses to Eastern Connecticut State and Clark University. Despite four-straight losses in the middle of September, Trinity ended the month with three wins in its final four contests, all of them by way of sweep. In the team's 3-0 victory over Mitchell on the 27th, senior tri-captain Randi Whitham (Weymouth, Mass.) entered the record books by surpassing the 1,000-assist plateau as she finished the match with 28 helpers.
In October, the Bantams compiled a 6-6 record, highlighted by sweeps over Emmanuel and St. Joseph, and two hard fought, 3-2, victories against WPI and Rhode Island College. Towards the end of the month, the Bantams participated in the Hall of Fame Invitational where they won two-of-three matches.
Several Trinity players found themselves among the league-leaders in several stats at the end of the year. Sophomore Rachel Underwood (Danville, Calif.) had a break out year for the Bantams, finishing first in the NESCAC with 0.51 service aces per set. Underwood also led the team with 274 digs and was third in kills (140). Whitham, the team's primary setter, finished fourth in the league in assists per set (8.24) and finished the year with 676 total. Whitham was also second to Underwood in aces, tallying 29 on the year.
First-year outside hitter Colette Scheffers (Flossmoor, Ill.) made an immediate impact for Trinity this fall, leading the team in kills (199) while adding 25 aces, 223 digs and 21 blocks on the year. Classmate Wyllie Boughton (Andover, Mass.) also contributed in her first year, finishing fifth on the team with 123 kills, second on the squad with 30 blocks to go along with 22 aces as well. Junior Claudia Varner (Port Washington, N.Y.) had an impressive campaign, posting a .203 hitting percentage with 129 kills and a team-high 42 blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Hanna Engstrom (Hopkinton, Mass.) built off a solid first-year with 156 kills and a 2.52 kills per set clip, tied for second best on the team. Senior tri-captains Rachel Hughes (Boxborough, Mass.) and Shelby Deck (Newport Beach, Calif.) capped off their careers for Trinity this fall as Hughes tallied 20 blocks and a .200 hitting percentage while Deck tallied 134 digs and 15 aces this fall.
This season marked the final collegiate campaign for senior tri-captains Whitham, Hughes and Deck. Through their tenure, the Bantams registered a 46-50 record and advanced to the NESCAC Championship Tournament two straight seasons.