The Faith volleyball team continued their recent winning ways with consecutive MCCC Conference wins over Emmaus Bible College 3-0 and Barclay College 3-0 thsi past Homecoming weekend. The Eagles have now captured four wins in a row and are showing they are a team playing with more confidence. "We are being very guarded with our success and understanding we need to continue to be a blue collar team. It has been great to see timely hitting and play making which was lacking in the beginning of our year. We are much improved in our net play and getting more comfortable with our individual roles,"noted coach Nihart.
Faith jumped out to early leads against Emmaus only to find themselves down 14-12 in set one. Staying consistent with their defensive play and timely hitting they regained the lead late to hold back the Eagles and win 25-22. Set two was much the same with Emmaus continuing to put pressure on Faith behind Alli Howard's team leading 13 kills. The lead changed numerous times with Faith again gaining the advantage behind senior middle hitter Alyssa Larson. "Alyssa has definitely stepped up her game this past week. As a senior she is really given her team an example of how to be productive," noted Nihart. Faith completed the match sweep with a 25-19 set three win.
Faith was led by Larson with 15 kills and attacking percent of .464 along with 3 blocks. Sophomore right side hitter Karis Giegerich added four kills and two blocks. The Eagles had a team high .194 attacking percent. Defensively Faith was led by freshmen libero Cara Hodak with 22 digs.
The Eagles then took on Barclay College from Haviland, Kansas. Faith again started strong with quick 5-0 and 7-1 leads again to find themselves letting up and a close set. The Eagles again behind Larson found timely kills to take the set 25-21. Set two was the closest all weekend and pressed the Eagles. Barclay, behind middle hitter Taylar Pfaff's leading seve kills pressured Faith into missed defensive assignments. Faith fell behind 23-20 when sophomore Samantha Betz stepped to the serving line. Behind her timely serving the Eagles were able to take the lead at 24-23. However, Barclay countered to tie the score at 24. Faith then ended the set with two consecutive kills to take the set 26-24. "That was a big set win. We are trying to do better at finishing sets. That win propelled us in set three," noted Nihart.
Faith then finished the match with a 25-20 win. The Eagles were led by Larson with 11 kills and a .345 attacking percent. Freshmen middle hitter Taylor Pals added six kills and team high .364%. Nihart knows the Eagles need others contributing beyond Larson. "Taylor and the other freshmen have started to become more involved in our offense and defensive sets. We will need all to contribute as we go through the season." Hodak again led the back-court with 17 digs and fellow freshmen right back Madeline Kunz added nine digs.
The Eagles will have a full week of practice before taking on MCCC Conference foe Central Christian College in Moberly, Missouri next Saturday.