The Lady Eagle's volleyball team opened the first day of their annual Spikefest tournament with a daunting task, taking on #2 ranked and NCCAA National Tournament runner up Maranatha Baptist Bible College. "We played hard and were not intimidated by Maranatha. I thought winning the first set revealed the potential we have in our team," noted coach Lanny Nihart.
Faith took set one 26-24 behind some solid defense in spite of a 14.3% attack. Sets two and three were not as competitive as Maranatha established better team play defeating the Eagles 25-13 and 25-14. The Eagles however regained their composure and led set four much of the time holding leads at 12-10 and 16-13. The Crusaders reeled off 12-1 run, though, taking set four and the match with a 25-17 victory.
Faith was led offensively by senior Julia Rocha with 12 kills and a 25% attack, six digs and two serving aces. Sophomore JoJo Hodak had an outstanding 35 digs while junior setter Stephanie Knupp had 19 assists and eight digs.
The Eagles then continued pool play against rival North Central University from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Eagles mustered a three set win 25-19, 25-19, and 25-18. Faith was led by Julia Rocha, who had 11 kills and a 24 % attack rate, along with eight digs and three blocks. Knupp added 20 assists and five serving aces and Hodak led the team defensively with 11 digs.
"We did well for the first day regarding our intensity and desires. Like all teams at the beginning of the season we will need to work on our communication and defensive spots. I thought we responded very well today in serve receive and serving which is usually the drivers early in the year," noted Nihart.
The Eagles will complete pool play against nationally ranked Grace University on Saturday at 11:00 AM. A win puts the Lady Eagles into the 3rd place game at 3:30 PM, a loss would put the Lady Eagles into the 5th place game at 1:30 PM.