Sep 07, 2014
The Faith volleyball team was on an early season roll winning five of their last six matches including a win over North Central Region rival Providence College from Canada. The rematch on Friday looked like the Eagles would continue their winning ways.
Faith captured set one 25-18 behind effective ball handling and a 26.7% hitting attack while holding the high flying Pilots to 10.5%. "We came out and played solid fundamental and aggressive volleyball in the first set. We had great defensive instincts and able to get to every ball Providence hit. It was one of our best sets of the year!" stated coach Lanny Nihart. "Alyssa (Larson) sprained her ankle in our previous match against Trinity on Thursday and was unable to play. Joy Smith and Hannah Tee did a great job of filling in and Emily Bernhard brought some good rest to our back row players. After the first set our team gave no excuses."
After set one the match quickly went Providence's way winning the match 3-1 as the Pilot's offensive attack increased each set reaching a high of 40.9% in set four. Faith was led by junior Kimberly Post with 12 kills and there blocks while freshmen Emily Wolfe contributed eight kills and six digs. "We talked after the game about staying strong in communication and energy. We acknowledge Providence had their way with us in the last three sets and the need to be more consistent in our intensity and mental aspects of the game," noted Nihart.
On Thursday, the Eagles played host North Central University. Faith lost set one 25-23 but was able to capture set two 25-21 and set three 25-13. "We have been stumbling in the first set in several of our matches. After the third set it looked like we were in control, but we did not take advantage and got into a very precarious situation in set four," noted Nihart.
Faith fell behind 24-17 with the Ram's hoping to force a final 5th set. With junior Kim Post serving, the Eagles outscored the Rams 7-0 to extend the match. Both NCU and Faith had opportunities to win with one point leads, but the Eagles received a block from Alyssa Larson and an NCU turnover to end the match. "That was a great comeback and hopefully a lesson learned for down the road. We have to remember as well as we played in the end we also played poorly and put ourselves in the situation," commented Nihart. The Eagles were led by JoJo Hodak with 11 kills, 29.6% attack and 14 digs. Kim Post and Emily Wolfe added 14 and 13 kills respectively and senior setter Stephanie Knupp had a season high 33 assists.
Faith then followed the NCU win by defeating Trinity Bible 3-0. Hodak again led the Eagles with 10 kills and 15 digs and has played very well since being named to the Spikefest All-Tournament team last week. "Jo has been doing some really good things offensively and defensively. Her court awareness has always been strong but as a junior she has demonstrated her maturity and is a big factor on our team,' cited coach Nihart. Faith now stands at 5-3 on the season.