By Tyler Hofmann-Reardon
On Wednesday, Volleyball Head Coach Blair Trail earned her 300th career win when the red-hot Maroons defeated Shenandoah three sets to one. Trail, a 1999 Roanoke graduate, has been at the head of the College’s volleyball program for 17 lucrative years, and has been a major part of the Maroons’ current 13-0 season.
As a player, Trail dominated the court in her two seasons with the Maroons. She was awarded First Team All-State and All-ODAC honors her senior year and she remains the last player to earn the All-State recognition. Immediately after her graduation, Trail took over the head coaching job for the Maroons and brought her fire to the locker room. Prior to her tenure, the Maroons were rarely contenders in the ODAC tournament and failed to reach 17 wins in a season, but in her first season as head coach Trail guided a 12-17 Maroons team to the ODAC championship in a classic cinderella campaign. Since that unforgettable first season, Trail has led the Maroons to eleven 17+ win seasons, including six 20+ win seasons. Her strongest performance came in 2002 when she led Roanoke to its first 20 win season with 24 wins on the year including an astounding 23-match win streak during the season. That year, she became the winningest coach in Roanoke Volleyball history and followed up her record breaking year with another 20+ win season, recording the Maroons’ first back to back 20+ win seasons. In 2008, Trail helped the Maroons to a 24-4 season with a 10-0 win streak to start the season, both were the best in school history. The next year, she orchestrated the biggest upset on ODAC tournament history when she led the 7th seed Maroons over eight-time defending champ Washington and Lee, snapping their 54 conference win streak. In 2014, Trial earned her 100th ODAC win and is now the longest and winningest active coach in the ODAC.
Trial’s 300th win was made even sweeter coming as a part of the Maroons undefeated, 13-0, season. Thanks to Kylah Blackmore’s double-double with a match high 16 kills and 17 digs and Jessica Block’s 42 assists, the Maroons were able to make short work of Shenandoah in four sets. With the win, the Maroons further solidified their place atop the conference with four straight ODAC victories. However, Randolph-Macon and Washington & Lee are tied with the Maroons in the ODAC with four wins, yet Roanoke’s 13-0 overall record still earns them the top overall spot. Be sure to support the Maroons in the coming weeks as they look to continue their perfect season. Cheer them on when they return home next Friday against Randolph College.